The Taoiseach has promised action on the mortgage crisis, job creation and renegotiation of bank recapitalisation in his leader's address to the Fine Gael Ard Fheis.

Enda Kenny also urged the Irish people to support the EU Fiscal Treaty in the referendum in May.

In his first Ard Fheis address as Taoiseach, Mr Kenny claimed that the Government had made a start on rebuilding the economy, but acknowledged that there was still a long way to go.

He admitted that some pledges, such as the abolition of upward only rent reviews, had not been delivered.

He said not enough had been done to help those in mortgage arrears, but announced a temporary Cabinet committee, chaired by himself.

The committee will drive action on the issue, by encouraging banks to help families trade up or down through negative equity mortgages; to enact the Personal Insolvency Bill; to expand the use of mortgage for rent; and to free up the housing market with extra interest relief for first time buyers this year.

He also said more must be done for jobseekers, with people on the live register first in the queue to fill new jobs.

Mr Kenny reiterated that Ireland would not default on its debt – but that the Government was determined to ease the burden on the people by finding a cheaper way to finance the cost of bank recapitalisation.

And he said the referendum on the EU Fiscal Treaty would give Ireland the opportunity to build with our partners a system to bring responsible budgeting to the eurozone.

Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has repeated the Government's commitment to the 12.5% corporate tax rate, saying it was non-negotiable.

Addressing delegates at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, Mr Noonan said the economy had to get back on a more competitive footing.

He said the domestic economy was pretty flat but there were a number of measures - such as the sale of certain State assets and leveraging the pension reserve fund - which could help stimulate growth.

The minister said a Yes vote in the forthcoming fiscal treaty referendum would help us build on the progress that has been made already.

Mr Noonan also said a country is not just an economy, it is about people. He described the building blocks of the economy as stability, confidence and fairness.

The minister told delegates that the burden in relation to the economy will have to fall evenly on people, and those who are strongest will have to contribute most and those who are weakest will have to be protected.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton told the conference that we need to do things differently after the earthquake in the economy we have experienced.

He said the most awful mistake we could make now would be to build over the same fault lines.

He added that what the Government is about is changing the basis that our economy is built on.

Sustainable economics based on enterprise, exporting, and productivity not on debt and construction, is what is needed, he said.

Mr Bruton said banks had to concentrate on lending to business as they had become too dependent on the easy money associated with the property industry in the past.

Earlier, delegates agreed to a full review of the party’s constitution and rules, with a possible special conference to decide on proposed changes.

Proposing the motion, National Executive member Gerry O'Connell said among the areas to be looked at are the selection of presidential candidates.

He said this was in response to some suggestions that there should be greater participation in the selection of candidates for presidential elections.