An Taoiseach appeared today before the biennial conference of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (incidentally, the highlight of their last conference was Mr. Cowen’s predecessor wondering aloud why those who criticised his economic policies didn’t go off and commit suicide.) The Taoiseach’s remarks suggest that, despite David Begg’s disavowal of it, the €250 million job subsidy proposal is going ahead:
Drawing on detailed discussions with Congress, we are introducing a new initiative to safeguard vulnerable jobs through a Temporary Employment Subsidy Scheme. This will provide a subsidy to support jobs in exporting companies in the manufacturing or internationally-traded services sector.
Perhaps these detailed discussions with ICTU have changed the proposed scheme from the one criticised by me, Sarah Carey, and of course, David Begg. However, there is no information in the official announcement to suggest so as of yet. Indeed, it directs us to the document containing the original announcement of the scheme for “more information.”
As an aside, I’d note that the name of the scheme is a bit confusing. I thought when I read it first that it was a scheme to promote temporary employment via a subsidy. However, it appears instead to be a scheme that temporarily promotes employment via a subsidy.