Ibec meets Minister Donohoe on Budget 2020
16 September 2019
Campaigning on priorities for Budget 2020 advanced this morning at a significant meeting between Ibec and Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe. I was joined by Anne Heraty, CPL, Alastair Blair, Accenture and Colin Hunt, AIB, who provided the diverse business context for Ibec’s budget asks. Their perspectives brought to life key challenges for business, an approach that clearly resonated with the Minister in what was a positive and constructive exchange, with consensus on the complexity of our times.
Our overarching message was the need for the budget to build on Ireland’s progress by nurturing indigenous business and reinventing our offering to multinationals. Quality of life issues majored in the context of attracting and retaining the best talent. The rapidly changing labour market raised the issue of share option supports and, critically, the under-funding of higher education. Last week’s news of Ireland’s further demise in global university rankings begs serious questions around our third-level funding model, and whether it is ensuring that our graduates are equipped with the skills to succeed in the future world of work.
Every issue discussed around the table had the overlay of Brexit. We focused on the necessary Brexit stabilisation measures for business, which we had set out in great detail in our written submission. Ibec will also make the case for state-aid to support viable and vulnerable business in another major publication on Brexit. The difficulty presented to the Minister by the twists in political developments right down to what occurs during the periods between budget day, the finance bill and allocation of estimates was acknowledged too.
The issue of global corporate tax reform was also discussed. With significant international media attention expected to focus on Ireland’s tax regime over the coming days, this discussion was timely. We reflected our views on the potential impact of on-going global corporate tax reform through the OECD BEPS process to the Minister. In our ongoing work on this issue, Ibec will host a roundtable on global tax reform with Business at the OECD (BIAC) in Dublin this Wednesday.
The Minister was also keen to look beyond budget day and spoke of convening business leaders on a theme that I have been leading out with at conferences and public engagements in recent years. It is a big question: What it will take for Ireland to adjust to its status as a resource economy and how can it be sustained. I hope the Minister for Finance will speak about this topic at the Ibec President’s Dinner on 27th September, where he will deliver the keynote address. I look forward to meeting many of you on the night.
Over the coming weeks we will meet TDs across the country to further progress our budget priorities. For now, follow the link if you would like to read more about Ibec’s budget 2020 campaign, and of course let me know if you have any questions.