May 22

Jobs Inititative

0.6% levy on private pension funds: Intended to raise €470m a year, payable in two tranches. It will operate for four years, and will raise €1.88bn overall. It will not apply to non-residents or to funds already in wind-up before 10 May, 2011.Air travel tax to be reduced to zero:

This measure is taken provided airlines open new routes and boost passenger numbers. However, the tax is not being taken off the statute book and can be reinstated if airlines do not do so. This measure will be reviewed at the end of 2012.Cuts in the lower rate of VAT:

Rate to be reduced from 13.5% to 9% on a range of tourism-related goods and services. The reduction will be effective from 1 July 2011 until the end of 2013. It will cost €120m in 2011, €350m in 2012 and 2013, and €60m in 2014. Mr Noonan said the tourism sector can make a substantial contribution to our economic recovery. This measure will be reviewed at the end of 2012.Cuts in lower rate of PRSI:

Halving of employers’ PRSI for low-paid workers below €356 a week will affect 600,000 workers.Reversal in the cut in the minimum wage:

The minimum wage will be restored to €8.65 per hour from 1 July, 2011.Extra for school-building/improvement programmes and transport networks:

There will be €30m made available for school works this summer. There will also be an additional €60m made available for regional roads.New SME loan scheme:

Mr Noonan announced the creation of a new loan scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton is to provide further details.More training and internship places:

Mr Noonan announced the setting-up of an internship programme. He said those who take part will be paid €50 per week on top of their social-welfare entitlements. He said there would be 20,000 places made. It will cost €11m this year.Corporate tax rate ‘here to stay’:

Mr Noonan was clear on the importance the Government attaches to Ireland’s 12.5% rate, calling it a ‘vital element of our industrial policy’.