Tackling the energy affordability crisis
The latest CEO Update from Danny McCoy to Ibec membership
This week, Ibec has once again been extensively engaging with key stakeholders across politics and the media to detail the urgent concerns of business amidst the major energy affordability crisis that is now rapidly emerging.
As part of our Ibec Budget 2023 campaign, Ibec colleagues and myself have engaged with major national print and broadsheet media, including RTE, Newstalk, the Irish Independent, the Irish Times, and more, to detail the need for direct supports for those households and industries most exposed to spiralling energy costs. It is imperative that any fiscal policy enacted be flexible over the winter and potentially into 2023 should a continued deterioration of the inflationary environment occur.
In addition, we wrote to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities outlining business concerns that further planned regulatory and tariff changes would only serve to further intensify costs being imposed on already struggling businesses. A Whole-of-Government approach is required to effectively address this crisis and we are working extensively to ensure Government and the Regulator more efficiently coordinate any planned policies in mitigating the energy affordability crisis.
We are meeting with regional TDs and Ministers across the country this week and next where we will be outlining the need for urgent action to address energy challenges, as well as the key asks of Ibec’s Budget 2023 more broadly. As challenging as these immediate inflationary competitiveness issues are, we must not lose sight of meeting the longer-term strategic issues we face as a society.
It is important to acknowledge that the underlying business model remains strong. Today’s National Account figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the economy has had real momentum in recent months, growing by over 11% in the first half of the year, and with some sectors continuing to grow strongly, the business community is generating sufficient tax revenue for Government to effectively support both businesses and households that are struggling with energy costs. We will be prioritising these crucial issues in all of our engagements with Government over the coming weeks and months.
Finally, this week, I want to highlight Ibec’s ongoing work through the Labour Employer Economic Forum, on collective bargaining and the industrial relations landscape in Ireland. Our existing voluntarist system, together with an extensive body of employment rights legislation, has provided a strong foundation for investment and growth over the past number of years and will continue to provide an important underpinning to our industrial relations framework. The international trends towards collectivism and obligations arising under the proposed EU Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages have also provided important context for assessing the adequacy of that framework for the future.
The Report has been finalised and I will be back in touch with you on this issue in the coming weeks.
As always, if you have any queries, please let me know.