Employers to get subsidy for taking on long-term jobless

Bruton defends Government policy on employment after being accused of ‘failing young people’

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton is to announce a scheme where employers will get a subsidy of €72 a week if they take on a person who is 12 months out of work.

 

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton is to announce a scheme where employers will get a subsidy of €72 a week if they take on a person who is 12 months out of work.

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said it would be a straight cash subsidy, paid monthly in arrears.

Mr Bruton confirmed the scheme, first mentioned in the budget, as he defended the Government’s policy on job creation following accusations that the Coalition had failed young people.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said more than a quarter of Irish families had seen a close family member emigrate in the past two years.

Ireland had one of the worst unemployment levels in the EU with one in four young people between 17 and 25 jobless and one in three men unemployed, he added.

Mr McGrath called for a minister to be appointed specifically to deal with unemployment because too many departments were dealing with the issue. He suggested following the example of Italy where employers received a tax break for giving people under 30 a permanent contract.

Mr Bruton insisted however that enterprise and small businesses have created 25,000 net new jobs in the last 12 months.

The live register was down for the 12th month in a row and unemployment was down from 15 per cent to 13.6 per cent. It was progress, he said, but not enough progress and that was why €2.5 billion had been provided for expansion in enterprise.

But Mr McGrath accused the Government of failing to keep faith with its election mandate

He said the Taoiseach had described the level of EU youth unemployment as an “abomination”. He added that Mr Kenny had said “how on his watch young people will not be locked out of the future - hollow words indeed”.

But Mr McGrath said it was Fás, JobBridge, training programmes and back to education was where the numbers were in getting people off the live register.

Hitting out at the new scheme the Tipperary South TD told Mr Bruton “it’s easy knowing none of you employed anybody because offering €72 to take on somebody after 12 months (unemployment) is a pittance. You don’t understand what makes employers think Minister”.

Mr Bruton said however it was enterprise and small business that had created 25,000 jobs in the last 12 months. “In the private sector we’re adding 2,000 jobs a month.”

He told Mr McGrath: “If the deputy wants to stay in his time warp of criticising and not putting forward any worthwhile solution other than saying a new ministry. What we need are policies that work. That’s what this Government is developing and we are seeing the results.”