Sinn Féin says it has identified €13bn that could be sourced to create jobs and improve productivity.

Launching a job creation plan, Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín said the money would come from the National Pension Reserve Fund, the European Investment Bank, as well as the private pension sector.

Mr Tóibín said that 156,000 jobs could be created by the plan, which would invest in infrastructure and cut red tape.

Sinn Féin would prioritise the revival of the sugar beet industry, invest in next generation broadband, build an additional 100 schools and establish 50 new primary healthcare centres.

The plan would also spend €1bn on regenerating Cork’s dockland area and kick-starting investment in water infrastructure.

Mr Tóibín said the scheme would support businesses by introducing a job retention scheme and by giving self-employed people the option of paying full PRSI in order to get the same entitlements as employees.

He said the plan would be funded by €5.8bn from the NPRF, €1.5bn from the EIB, €3bn from the private pension sector and it would restore €2.6bn cut from the Capital Investment Plan.

One of the biggest initiatives under the plan would be a €5bn retrofitting scheme to insulate nearly 500,000 buildings in Ireland.

Finance Spokesman Pearse Doherty said the NPRF would get a return on the investment in schemes such as retrofitting.

He denied it amounted to raiding the fund, insisting it simply redirected where investments were made.