CEO Update: Addressing Competitiveness issues top concern ahead of an important 2024

December 21, 2023

Dear member,

As the year draws to a close, I want to reassure you that Ibec is ready to continue our work, ensuring that the issues that matter most to our members are at the forefront in 2024. Next year will be important year for our members, not only economically but socially and politically too.

In his recent Irish Times piece, Fergal O'Brien, Ibec’s Executive Director of Lobby and Influence, highlighted members' growing concerns about the amount of labour costs being imposed by the Government, estimated to be around €4 billion.  In 2024, Ibec would like to see the €250 million support package announced in Budget 2024 more effectively targeted at those firms experiencing the most challenging labour cost increases. We also believe there should be a moratorium on new labour market regulation, and a more coordinated and consultative model is needed for labour market policy more generally in 2024.

In addition to protecting vulnerable SME businesses, Ireland must continue to safeguard the conditions that have contributed to the significant success of foreign direct investment in recent years. This involves addressing factors that continue to harm our global competitiveness, such as inadequate infrastructure, capacity constraints, and our ability to attract workers from abroad. We must also continue building our workforce capabilities to ensure readiness for the technological challenges we face, particularly in Industry 5.0, AI, and general digitalisation. Ibec will ensure that the issues that matter most to businesses will feature prominently as we head into local, European, and potentially a general election in 2024.

2023 marked an important milestone as we celebrated thirty years since our foundation and the merger of the Federation of Irish Employers (FIE) and the Confederation of Irish Industry (CII). Last week, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD launched a specially commissioned book to mark the occasion.

Finally, a critical element that enables Ibec to carry out our work is the input and engagement we receive from our members. Our CEO sentiment survey serves as an important basis for much of the high-level political and stakeholder engagement Ibec will undertake next year.  If you are the CEO or site lead for your organisation, you should have received a unique link to Ibec’s annual CEO Survey which captures the perspectives and predictions of Irish business leaders for 2024. We would really appreciate your participation in the research which closes on Friday 22nd December, if you have not already taken part.


Wishing you a happy Christmas and a successful 2024,


Best Regards,

Danny McCoy