The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe has said that Budget 2011 achieves a balance that allows us to invest on jobs and growth and will create 300,000 jobs over the next five years. He also said that focus on direct foreign investment will not deter concentration on domestic investment.
The minister told the Dáil that the Budget “strikes an important balance between achieving the necessary adjustment of €6bn in 2011 and doing so in a way that ensures that we continue to invest in our most important objectives: economic growth and job creation.
O’Keeffe insisted that spending on increased exports and foreign direct investments will spur growth and he outlined that the smart economy be focused on by “significantly investing in research and development.”
30,000 new jobs by 2011
The minister said the Budget will deliver almost 30,000 new jobs in 2011, through Government agencies, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, as well as “300,000 jobs altogether from the enterprise and tourism sectors over the next five years”.
He referred to Ireland’s export status in Europe as being resilient in today’s current economic crisis and insisted that by making investments in “winning foreign direct investments, growing indigenous exports and increasing research development activity” there will be no taking focus away from Ireland’s domestic investment.
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Direct investment in enterprise
“Along with this direct investment in enterprise, there is one other critical aspect of how we are driving economic growth and job creation: our continued strong investment in the smart economy.
“The development of a smart economy is a key component in the Government’s economic renewal plans. The allocation of €161m to Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) means an increase of €11m for the provision for research grants.
“This is vital to ensuring that Ireland will retain the excellent science base we have built over the past decade,” O’Keeffe said, adding, “It will send a very strong message nationally and internationally that the Government’s focus on driving the smart economy is on track.
Budget 2011 has met with a frosty reception from the opposition, media and public alike, and imposes stern cuts and takes on lower to middle-class earners.