Grant for firms to encourage hiring
The Government will pay a quarter of some workers' wages in a new scheme to get people back to work.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said a direct grant will be given to company bosses to encourage them to hire people who are long-term unemployed.
"It's a scheme that is designed to be more simple, more effective, more direct for the employer with an emphasis on taking on people who have qualifications, who have competence but have been out for 12 to 24 months," Mr Kenny said.
The Government will pay a subsidy of one in every four euro paid to a worker hired under the back-to-work scheme.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said it was designed to tackle the scourge of long-term unemployment which has been shown to make it harder for a person to get work the longer they are unemployed.
"It's the opportunity to put it in the hands of employers," Mr Bruton said.
"Something that they can easily understand. They don't have to be in profit to benefit, they don't have to wait for two years to see the cash back, they don't have to commit that the job is going to last for two years or whatever. It's a much more accessible scheme."
The employer incentive, one of 333 schemes launched as part of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs 2013, will be operated by the Department of Social Protection. The Jobs Plus initiative will replace the Government's existing PRSI exemption and Revenue Tax Assist schemes. It has been designed as a more simplified version because take-up of the existing schemes had been low.
The Government will allocate a grant of 7,500 euro for recruits who had been on the dole from between 12 to 24 months, and 10,000 euro for recruits unemployed for more than two years.
Elsewhere, the Taoiseach insisted the Government was not forcing public sector workers out of jobs. He said any lay-offs over the last two years were largely a result of voluntary redundancies and retirement.