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Taoiseach unveils "roadmap" for economy

Tuesday, December 17 14:25:20

The Taoiseach this afternoon set out his Government's "roadmap" for the Irish post-bailout economy, warning that the path ahead will not be easily traveled.

Mr Kenny's A Strategy for Growth document predicts economic growth that will reach 2pc next year, 2.3pc in 2015 and 2.8pc in 2015.

The document warns that says that it will be 2018 before unemployment falls below 10pc and that the Government will be running a balanced budget in 2018, meaning that will be the first year it will be spending less then it will be taking in by way of taxes.

The Taoiseach said that, by 2020, the Government aims to replace "all the jobs lost in the crisis and halve the rate of unemployment".

He said next year would see a very strong push to make the economy more competitive.

He added welfare reforms would be a big focus of 2014.

Mr Kenny said 2014 will be year for jobs, and everything that can be done will be done in the area.

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.