Every child in Ireland should have access to an iPad according to Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
The TD was speaking at a fundraising event for Fine Gael, and stressed the importance of Ireland being “ahead of its competitors” in the technology industry.
He also pledged that the government will continue to make Ireland an attractive destination for high tech firms.
Major companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple have chosen set up tech centres in Ireland in the past decade due to favourable tax laws compared to the rest of Europe.
These centres have created thousands of jobs and attracted top talent from around the world to Ireland.
The technology industry is considered to be crucial in Ireland’s future economy.
Mr Noonan claimed that “very strong innovation” would be hugely important in Ireland’s future, and that it should be encouraged from a young age.
He said: “We must use the schools to drive it and we must use new ways of managing people. You need to organise people in a way they are working in teams to combine the innovative efforts of individuals to do something dramatic. We certainly should have every child with an iPad at five years of age.”
Mr Noonan then went on to describe his plans for the Irish economy, stating that the severe ups and downs of the past must be stopped: “The booms were great, then the bust came and loads of people lost their jobs, it lasted several years and the next cycle was engineered. We must get away from that.”
He added that the German management of their economy was a great model, pointing out that it had grown every year for almost two decades thanks to their policy of “interventions when the economy needs it and steps back when the economy is moving along grand”.
Mr Noonan said his comments would be reflected in Fine Gael’s manifesto for the forthcoming General Election, and also in the Budget for 2016 which will be announced next month.