Connick welcomes a 'challenging' Budget
GOVERNMENT TD and Junior Minister Seán Connick described the Budget as 'challenging' but welcomed the measures relating to older people and farmers as well as local enterprise and employment.
'One very welcome aspect is the support for older people with the safeguarding of the pension, an additional fuel allowance and extra funding for home care packages.'
'We have significantly increased the State pension over the last 10 years and I am happy to see that this is now protected,' he said
Deputy Connick said he was glad, in light of recent severe weather conditions, that the Minister for Finance had allocated an additional €14m to the fuel allowance scheme, along with an extra €8m to HSE home care packages for an extra 800 older people in 2011.
The New Ross-based TD said the Budget also protects farmers and recognises the key role that the agri-food sector will play in driving the country's economic recovery.
He said the latest Budget shows the Government's determination to stimulate growth and create jobs. 'We will continue to spend significant sums on investment to sustain employment and growth. Over €1bn will be invested in capital programmes in 2011 which will support 10,000 jobs', he said.
He welcomed the retention of the corporation tax at 12.5 per cent. 'This 'will help us add to the hundreds of thousands of jobs that we have managed to attract through Foreign Direct Investment.'
And he also gave a welcome to initiatives such as the Development and Internship Programme and the Community Work Placement Scheme that will keep people who are unemployed close to the labour force so that they will be in a position to take up jobs.