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Budget 2017 must look beyond the short term and prepare the Irish economy for the future

 

Chambers Ireland Budget 2017 1

 

Chambers Ireland, Ireland’s largest business network, today (28th July 2016) launched its Budget 2017 Submission outlining the need for Government to refocus on strategic investment in the infrastructure of the economy to secure Ireland’s economic future.

 

Speaking today on behalf of Waterford Chamber, Laurent Borla, President said: “The context for consideration of the economic outlook for Ireland in Budget 2017 is dominated by the uncertainties created by Brexit. Over recent years, Ireland’s economy has experienced robust growth. However it is now clear that Ireland must prepare for some degree of negative impact stemming from external forces. The direct impact of Brexit on our unique trading relationship with the UK and its impact on other economies globally must be taken into consideration in Budget 2017 and in Ireland’s broader economic plans.”

 

“The nature of Ireland’s small, open economy means that we remain vulnerable to global economic volatility and uncertainty. There is a real risk that even as the economy continues to grow, a loss of cost competitiveness and infrastructural deficits could obstruct our growth. We must focus the limited resources we have on preparing the economy for the future and protecting our competitiveness. It is necessary to strike a balance between the extremely progressive income tax system we have versus one that is punitive and internationally uncompetitive.”

 

“Brexit undoubtedly poses risks to our economy, but we are currently in a strong position to prepare for these. Budget 2017 is an opportunity for Ireland to refocus on strategically investing in key areas of our economy to ensure that we have the infrastructure necessary to support our economy’s ongoing growth. We must now take the opportunity to secure our future by making plans to invest in areas that will address our long term challenges for the benefit of all those living and working in Ireland.”

 

Chambers Ireland Pre-Budget Submission can be downloaded here.

 
Chamber meeting with Deirdre Clune MEP

Deirdre Clune

 

Waterford Chamber met with Deirdre Clune, MEP for Ireland South on 25th July to discuss a number of topics, including Waterford Airport, investment in transport infrastructure, tourism opportunities for the region, and the implications for Ireland following Brexit.

 
Chamber Race Night

 

Chamber Race Night

 

Waterford Chamber and Tramore Chamber of Tourism & Commerce have teamed up to host a fun night out at the Tramore August Racing Festival on Friday, 12th August.

 

The event kicks off at 4.00pm with live music by jazz duo Indigo Mood and delicious BBQ chicken & beef blaas will be served with a selection of salads. Henry De Bromhead will be on hand to provide tips for the racing – there will be seven national hunt races, starting from 5.15pm. Racing is followed by live music from No Hot Ashes in the main festival marquee.

 

Tickets are €25 each. Admission is by ticket only, so booking is required. Please contact Jemma at 051 311136 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  for bookings. Tickets will be posted out following booking & payment.

 
Not the time to be complacent about protecting our competitiveness

 

Competitiveness Scorecard 2016Commenting on the publication of the National Competitiveness Council’s Competitiveness Scorecard, Laurent Borla, Waterford Chamber President said, “The findings in this report highlight the need for Ireland to tackle emerging price pressures before they escalate and undermine our competitiveness. Increasing cost pressures are in many ways a consequence of our continued economic recovery but with the many external threats to our economy also identified in this report we must focus on protecting our cost competitiveness and productivity to ensure that Ireland remains an attractive place to grow a business and invest.” 

 

“Despite the welcome increase in our global competitiveness rankings in 2016, it is important that Ireland does not become complacent about the growing challenges to competitiveness. We must ensure that we have the strategic infrastructure, skilled workforce and cost base necessary for Irish businesses to compete in international markets and for Ireland to attract labour intensive FDI. ”   

 
Active land management and streamlined planning process key to success of housing strategy

 

Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan 1Welcoming the publication of the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness today (19th July 2016) Nick Donnelly, CEO, Waterford Chamber said: “There are a number of innovative measures in the Rebuilding Ireland Action plan that will help to alleviate the acute housing pressures being felt in many of our urban areas. We have long been advocating for the prioritisation of measures to increase the supply of housing to meet demand at affordable prices, and there are a number of measures within the Action Plan that will achieve this aim.”

 

“Waterford Chamber is especially encouraged by the Action Plan’s decisive move towards active land management. The cost of land is a major driver of the high price of housing development and in the past, we have called for active land management strategies as a means to address this. The proposed reforms to the planning system will see a streamlining of the planning process for large developments. This will provide greater certainty in the planning process and reduce the overall costs of planning for developers.”

 

“The allocation of a €5.35bn investment in social housing provision over the next few years is welcome; increased investment in social housing supply is overdue will go a long way to increasing Ireland’s housing stock. We are very pleased to see flexible measures such as the establishment of an NTMA funding vehicle and the creation of an Affordable Rental Scheme included in the Action Plan. We believe that if the measures included in the Plan are swiftly delivered on, then it will go some way towards addressing the complex issue of affordability and lead to an alleviation of the housing crisis in the short term.”

 
An increase to national minimum wage would threaten competitiveness

 

Commenting today (19 July 2016) following the publication of the Low Pay Commission Report, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland said, "The recommendation to increase the National Minimum Wage by 10c to €9.25, particularly following a 6% increase already this year, does not reflect the realities of the trading conditions facing Irish businesses post-Brexit.

 

"Locking in another increase to the National Minimum Wage at a time of such uncertainty around the future performance of our economy will put more pressure on our business community and further erode our competitiveness. At this point in our recovery, any increase in the National Minimum Wage is unwarranted." 

 
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