Enda Kenny has set out how a Fine Gael government would tackle the spiralling national deficit and revive the Irish economy.
The party leader and president said tax hikes and spending cuts would not alone bring down the debt as he set out a series of pro-business proposals that he hopes will deliver a general election victory.
At the heart of the plan is an 18 billion euro investment stimulus in targeted areas of the economy - such as high speed broadband, clean energy and water - that he claimed would create 100,000 jobs.
A guarantee scheme for small business loans and a pledge not to raise corporation tax were also among the policies Mr Kenny outlined to guests at the Fine Gael Annual Presidents Dinner in Dublin.
Other key measures included the adoption of the Dutch health care system and a vow to reform the Oireachtas with a referendum - one year after taking office - on abolishing the Seanad and reducing the Dail by 20 TDs.
"When the Irish people give a new Government a new mandate, the natural energy, optimism and ideas of the Irish people will be unleashed. Set free. Liberated from the strangle hold of despair created by the current Government's failings," said Mr Kenny.
"Fine Gael wants to seek that mandate, that permission from the people. We want to put the case of the party I have the honour to lead to the people. Let me confirm to you tonight that Fine Gael has done the hard work and is now ready to lead the way in restoring our country's fortunes.
"We have people who will lead. We have a team that will not lie down in the face of this challenge. And most crucially - we have the plans."
Mr Kenny said his party could cut the budget deficit to 3% by 2014.
"But, let me be clear," he added. "We will achieve these budgetary targets not just through the usual spending and tax measures but by supporting economic growth and job creation. We know we cannot tax our way to economic recovery or health in the public finances."