Fine Gael TD for Kildare South, Martin Heydon, has welcomed the announcement by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) that 58,000 jobs have been created in the private sector in the last 12 months. Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is creating the conditions whereby almost 5,000 jobs per month are now being created in Ireland. Deputy Heydon’s comments were made following the release of the Central Statistics Office Quarterly National Household Survey Quarter 3 2013 report which showed that 58,000 jobs have been created in the last year.

“The announcement that almost 5,000 jobs a month are being created is hugely encouraging and shows that this Government’s plan to get Ireland working again is bearing fruit. The creation of 58,000 jobs in the last year is a welcome change to the situation under the last Government where 80,000 jobs per year were being lost in the private sector.

“This CSO report takes us up to the end of September 2013. The pro-jobs Budget announced on October 15th by Minister Noonan contained measures which will, I believe, further incentivise small and large businesses to create jobs in Ireland in 2014. The 25 separate measures that support job creation as part of a €500 million pro-jobs package in Budget 2014 will help us build on the excellent progress being made in encouraging investment in Ireland and tackling our unemployment problem.

“The Home Renovation Incentive Scheme is a particularly positive initiative, which will allow homeowners to claim back VAT on improvements carried out on their homes. This will generate significant amounts of work for registered tradesmen and contractors and, I believe, create jobs for people who were laid off when the construction sector collapsed under the last Government.

“The retention of the 9% VAT rate is hugely welcome for the tourism sector, which has enjoyed a surge in visitor numbers over the last two years. The lower VAT rate was originally introduced as a temporary measure, but Minister Noonan has taken the very pragmatic decision to maintain the low rate in a bid to sustain and further encourage growth in this area.

“The unemployment rate has dropped from 13.6% to 12.8% between July and September of this year. While we still have a long way to go, these figures show that we are moving firmly in the right direction. Ireland has experienced a fall in unemployment for the last 16 months in a row and is about to regain its economic independence by exiting the bailout. With a budget in place for next year which will further incentivise job creation, I firmly believe that we are heading in the right direction.”