Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has told the Dáil that getting people back to work is a central focus of the recovery.

Mr Donohoe said the Government wanted to make the recovery a job-rich one.

Employment is expected to grow by 5.5% next year, meaning an additional 115,000 jobs, and that would reduce the unemployment rate to below 10%, he said.

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath called for more supports for companies.

He said working capital was not sufficient, credit lines for larger firms were needed, and he said commercial rents were causing problems.

Mr McGrath's party colleague Barry Cowen said the Government was reaching legal limits on spending and he asked whether legal advice had been sought on the issue.

Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the length of the recession was not set in stone and the right decisions could ease its severity.

Mr Doherty also said anomalies remained in the Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and he gave the example of a full-time worker on the minimum wage getting €310 under the scheme, when the pandemic payment was €350.

He said these inconsistencies needed to be fixed because the longer the relationship was broken with employers, the more likely it would remain permanently severed.