Ibec update on political engagement, the economy and a credible reboot campaign

April 09, 2020

The latest CEO Update Newsletter from Danny McCoy to Ibec Members. 

Dear member, 

As the week draws to a close and we find a new rhythm in our work and home lives, I wanted to briefly update you on Ibec activities. 

Today we met with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister Heather Humphreys. The meeting was part of the Labour Employer Economic Forum which includes the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Secretary Generals of the main Government economic departments.   We took the opportunity to outline the importance of a consistent framework for engagement between business and government.  

Whilst public health is the primary focus of our collective efforts, it was agreed that there needs to be systematic and regular Government engagement on social and economic measures as well as on an exit strategy for a stepped return to comprehensive economic activity. The social and economic issues prior to the shutdown remain pressing, specifically around housing which will require ramping up quickly as well as safely along with other public infrastructure projects. More clarification on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme is expected to be made within days. 

The magnitude of this crisis now demands every effort to support business, employees, customers, communities and the country to minimise the potential for social and economic damage.  With your input, Ibec will now focus its attention to develop and deliver a deep and credible campaign with a roadmap to reboot Ireland.  

The Ibec campaign will be underpinned by policy recommendations for Government and messaging for business, so we and our communities can advocate with one voice. To this end, we will invite you to participate in the first phase with a business survey which we will issue next week.  Looking ahead, we will rely on your feedback, insight and collaboration to ensure that this effort is reflective of business leadership in action and that from this crisis we deliver sustainable outcomes and a legacy to be generationally proud of. 

Yesterday’s announcement by Minister Heather Humphreys was an initial response to Ibec’s call for the introduction of substantial liquidity measures.  While it may require a new Government to facilitate a more ambitious set of measures, as the credit crisis becomes acute it is a very significant recovery risk for business.  The current political situation is unhelpful and must be urgently resolved for further meaningful and proportionate action.

I leave you with a brief economic analysis from Ibec (see below) for these times and my contribution to yesterday’s Irish Times Inside Business podcast. For more information and insight on our work in the crisis go to the Ibec website

I wish you, your colleagues and families a restful Easter and thank you for your continued support. 

Danny McCoy  

COVID-19 Economic Update pdf | 431.9 kb