Economy 2020 strategy outlined

An Taoiseach today outlined out a fiscal blueprint to take us to 2020, to confirm its bailout exit and show that its economy can grow enough to cut its debt by a quarter by the end of the decade.

Some of the key points to the plan are to deliver jobs, expand trade opportunities and shift the economic focus from austerity to growth.

The Government has declined a backup credit line with enough debt-market funding to cover costs until 2015.

“It is about staying the course. It is a roadmap for the Irish economy,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny told a news conference at Government Buildings. “It will provide certainty for the Irish people and for investors in our country.”

Last weekend , Ireland became the first euro zone member to successfully complete a bailout, after three years of monitoring by the European Union and International Monetary Fund. EU leaders say that proved their policy of austerity is working.

“The Irish people have made a lot of sacrifices to ensure Ireland’s recovery,” Mr Kenny said at the press conference, which was also attended by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. “We will ensure that the mistakes of the past won’t be repeated.”

The plan contains chapters on areas focused on by the troika during the bailout such as fiscal targets, banking and credit flow and structural reforms.

Ahead of the press conference, Mr Kenny said the framework would set out the “main signposts” that the State’s budget polict will follow over the next seven years.

“This is not a time for a change of direction or a change course,” he told reporters in his way into the final Cabinet meeting before Christmas. “This will be based on enterprise.”

He said the Government believed borrowing could be eliminated with six years and jobs lost during the recession could be recovered.

In the New Year, each department will be required to publish their own plans, he said.

Mr Gilmore added that clear targets were needed.