Chamber News

Stark Exchequer figures require meaningful strategy to support businesses in reopening

Speaking this afternoon (3rd June 2020), following the publication of the May Exchequer Returns, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said,

“The Exchequer Returns today are a stark reminder of the impact COVID-19 has had not only on the health of our people, but on our economy. If these businesses are to recover in the months ahead, they will need every assistance to do so. It is also vital that we restore taxation levels as rapidly as possible to ensure that we can continue to meet the Government’s increasing Current Expenditure commitments to deal with the consequences of this crisis.

“The collapse in VAT and Excise receipts in the Returns demonstrate the severe difficulty that retail and hospitality businesses are facing, and will continue to face, for some time to come. While protecting public health must remain the priority, this must be paired with a strategy for how we can meaningfully support business to begin the difficult task of reopening.

“To that end, it is crucial that there is greater collaboration between the economic and health advisors to Government to inform the difficult, but necessary decisions needed in the coming weeks, as we move to reopen the economy.

“As we come to the end of Phase One, there must be genuine engagement from Government on the kinds of financial supports that will need to be in place. This includes not only the retention of the Wage Subsidy Scheme and an extension of the Commercial Rates waiver, but also requires creative thinking in how we fund the redesign of our town centres so that they can support businesses to trade and consumers to return.

“Since the onset of this crisis, our members have been clear that the scale of the economic crisis will require an unprecedented fiscal response from Government. We cannot ignore the fact that job creators, many of whom are SMEs, are the backbone of the economy.

“If these businesses fail and if jobs are permanently lost, then our recovery will take much longer, and be much more costly.

“Regarding the wider needs of the economy, Government action to sustain investment through this shock will be hugely important. In line with the European Commission’s Country-Specific Recommendations for Ireland, public spending and public investment should be non-negotiable.

“We cannot afford another lost decade and so, public investment must be at the centre of the next Programme for Government.”


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"Waterford is a very attractive location for Foreign Direct Investment as it is a dynamic city which is very much open for business – the city has a proven track record of attracting investment from start-ups and expanding business, who are hugely supported by Waterford Chamber. The city, county and region offers a young, well educated workforce and is easily accessible for international visitors. Waterford’s quality of life for employees is exceptional as it blends elements of rich cultural heritage with a new and vibrant lifestyle – with new additions such as the Greenway further showcasing the county to not only locals, but visitors from all over Ireland and overseas. The Chamber has been a vital link in welcoming our companies into the local Business Community – helping them not only network, but also gain a sense of community and belonging."

Brendan McDonald, Regional Manager, South East Region, IDA



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