Bruton says 'finder's fee' plan will be well-managed

THE GOVERNMENT’S incentivised job-creation scheme will be tightly managed and will not involve “giving money away”, according…

THE GOVERNMENT’S incentivised job-creation scheme will be tightly managed and will not involve “giving money away”, according to Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Richard Bruton.

The Minister said the Government would not put hard targets on the number of jobs it expects to create through the initiative that will provide financial rewards for members of the Irish diaspora who come up with successful ideas.

The scheme, which will be announced as part of next week’s jobs initiative, involves a finder’s fee of €3,000 for every job that results from the project.

Mr Bruton insisted yesterday the scheme would be managed in “a tight way” from within his department’s allocation.

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He said: “The IDA would have to be entirely satisfied that this was a bona fide new contact, that they weren’t dealing with them already . . . the job would have to survive for a significant period before there would be any question of there being support.”

Mr Bruton said the idea came from someone with “immense experience” in international business. “There are now huge social network opportunities opening up that become a different way of contacting people and reaching people; this is the Government tapping into that new resource.”

The project will be administered by private sector interests and the IDA. Jobs created under the scheme that are still in existence after two years will qualify for the €3,000 payment.

The scheme is aimed at tapping the potential of small and medium enterprises around the world, particularly in the US.

Mr Bruton said the 80 million people worldwide of Irish origin were “a huge resource” and the scheme was a way of extending the reach of the IDA.

“The truth is the IDA is a relatively small organisation; it’s hard for them to reach many of the smaller businesses where people of Irish origin perhaps would look afresh at Ireland as a place to make an investment. We need to look at new ideas in this space, and I think this is one well worth trying.”

Fianna Fáil yesterday attacked Mr Bruton for failing to meet executives of Twitter despite media reports that the social network giant is considering Dublin or London as a location for its international headquarters.

The Minister was asked in the Dáil yesterday by Fianna Fáil spokesman on enterprise Willie O’Dea if he had made any contact with Twitter executives to help secure this investment.

“I’ll have to admit that I haven’t met with Twitter myself, but I will on foot of the Deputy’s inquiry,” said Mr Bruton.

Mr O’Dea said the fact the Minister had not met the company executives was “extremely worrying”.

Meanwhile, the pensions industry yesterday attacked Government plans for a new tax on pension funds, and said it would amount to a stealth tax on over 750,000 private sector workers.

The Irish Association of Pension Funds said the plan, which is designed to fund the Government’s jobs initiative, amounted to “an attack on the savings of ordinary pensioners and workers while protecting politicians and public sector workers who already have the best pension benefits”.

It said the “raid” on pension savings would cost €450 million and would do serious damage to pension provision in Ireland.

“While the current Cabinet have insulated themselves from this new stealth tax, over 750,000 private sector workers are also expected to pay this money out of their pension savings,” it said in a statement.