Labour Wobbles Again – Richard Bruton fires an Exocet at the good ship “Flabby Rhetoric”.

In a significant move on 30th January, Labour pulled back from its commitment to the €15 billion budget adjustment target by 2015.
Speaking after the launch of Labour’s jobs policy, leader Eamon Gilmore said the budget adjustment over the next three years should be €2 billion less than the terms of the EU-IMF bailout. Gilmore said that instead of the planned €9 billion adjustment between 2012 and 2014, he wanted one of €7 billion, with the timeframe for bringing the budget deficit below the EU ceiling of 3 per cent of gross domestic product being extended by a year to 2016.Announcing his party’s jobs policy, Mr Gilmore said it would involve ring-fencing €500 million for initiatives designed to get people back to work. “We need to set up a trade council, establish an innovation strategy agency and create a network of technology research centres.”
Fine Gael attacked the policy, with party enterprise spokesman Richard Bruton saying it avoided the obstacles to job creation such as high business costs, unnecessary red tape and welfare traps. “Labour places all its faith in raising €500 million for a vague ‘jobs fund’ that will see politicians and State agencies seeking to influence for their own agendas. It is not clear if this ‘jobs fund’ would even yield a return for taxpayers.