The Government is passing on the baton to businesses and consumers after announcing the Economic Stimulus Plan, and we need to run with it, according to a leading economist here.

The chief economist with EY Ireland, Professor Neil Gibson, said it is time for society to play its part in the country's economic recovery.

"Think of it like a relay race with the Government running the first leg," he told business news on Morning Ireland.

"We're at that crucial handover stage where both runners are moving but we are passing on the baton to businesses and consumers to drive that recovery forward."

He said every decision that people make to buy a cup of coffee or stay in a hotel, will help in the recovery.

"This is a societal and collective effort to repair and renew the economy. It's not something that we can sit by and say, 'Government do this for me'."

Prof Gibson said there is around €12 billion extra in savings in Irish bank accounts that we weren't expecting to have and spending that will be a big part in recovering jobs in the culture, arts, leisure and retail sector.

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"This recovery isn't just the responsibility of Government. I think it was important that they still left themselves a little flexibility to respond to some of the changing circumstances we might see emerge as the recovery takes shape during the year."

The plan to stimulate and create jobs in other sectors is to be welcomed, the EY chief economist said.

"Sadly not every job that we saw in the economy before the pandemic hit will return in exactly the same place or way that it was before, so I think the importance of digital and green job was very much recognised and I think that will be a very welcome part of the announcement."

He sounded a note of caution.

"The jobs in these sectors will need skilled people and the training and upskilling policies announced yesterday, will be crucial in making sure that people can avail of those job opportunities when they come," the economist said.

"They are suggesting that 2.5 million people will be in work by 2024. That's about 18 months earlier than we expected in our own forecast. There's certainly ambition and it's right to talk about the potential in the economy," he added.