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Irish Government Jobs Initiative/Private Pension Levy

The Irish government has announced an initiative to boost the local economy and increase employment by funding a number of programs from a temporary (4 year) levy of 0.6% pension funds and pension plans. The summary of the program is as follows:

  • The Air Travel Tax rate will be reduced to zero
  • Introduction of a temporary second reduced rate of VAT of 9% (tourism)
  • Halving of the lower rate of PRSI until end-2013 on jobs that pay up to €356 per week.
  • The R&D tax credit legislation will be amended to enhance its accounting treatment flexibility
  • 20,900 places will be made available for training, education and up-skilling
    • National Internship Scheme
    • 3rd Level/Springboard
    • Back to Education Initiative
    • Specific skills training (long-term)
    • Specific skills training (short-term)
    • Post Leaving Certificate (PLC)
  • Removal of the numbers ceiling on non-Exchequer funded Higher Education posts.
  • Short-term Visa Waiver Programme
  • Energy Retrofit Programme
  • €30 million Schools Capital programme
  • Investment in Regional and Local Roads
  • Investment in Smarter Travel Projects

The full proposal is here: http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0510/jobsinitiative.pdf

I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts. Is it right to add a levy to pension funds in this manner? Do you think the levy will be extended in 4 years time? Most importantly, do you think it will work and boost employment? Please feel free to have your say below!