Regional and rural job creation is a central priority of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation – Minister Pat Breen.

October 11th, 2016 - Pat Breen

Regional and rural job creation is a central priority of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and a large percentage of the department’s €555 million budget will go towards supporting the creation of such jobs, says Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen.

The Minister of State was speaking as the department outlined a 10% increase in its capital allocation for Budget 2017, the largest increase in the Department’s Capital Budget for over a decade.

It includes an extra €52 million to support further job creation, innovation and support Irish companies help to respond to the challenges and opportunities from Brexit.

Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Conner told a press conference this afternoon that she wants both the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to bring the job numbers of their client companies up to 200,000 each next year.

Meanwhile Minister Breen said, “The Government has identified regional and rural job creation as a priority. We also have to factor in the impact of BREXIT and the challenges it will pose. I welcome the extra resources that our agencies will benefit from in particular Enterprise Ireland to support its clients in the face of BREXIT and grow Irish exports globally. EI will also invest in new job creation initiatives in every region.”

“The increase of 22 per cent in funding to Local Enterprise Offices, which are under my remit, will see a renewed push for new start-up businesses and job creation in every county. The target is between 40,000-45,000 new jobs next year, with the same number again created indirectly,” added Minister Breen.

“Today sees the Government agreement to raise the National Minimum Wage. I recognise the importance of this for low paid workers to increase the NNW to €9.25 per hour, and the tax changes that will further help lower paid workers,” said the Fine Gael minister.

“As Minister for Small Business I am pleased that the first budget of this Government is taking necessary steps to support our Entrepreneurs and SMEs. We know that 99.8% of all enterprises in Ireland are SMEs, accounting for nearly 70% of private sector employment – so SMEs really matter to this economy. We also know that historically two thirds of new jobs in Ireland have been created by companies in their first five years – so it is important that these new companies start and grow. The measures introduced in today’s budget will support those people who take a risk to start a business, and those that continue to take risks in growing and creating jobs,” said the minister of state and Clare TD.