Ibec launches Local Elections 2019 campaign

May 01, 2019

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today launched a major new Local Elections 2019 campaign. At a special briefing event in Limerick, the group outlined the key priorities in these elections for the Irish business community.

Speaking at the event, Ibec Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Fergal O’Brien said: “Local businesses, not central government, are the primary source of income for local authorities. Business contributions directly account for €1.51 billion or 35% of total local government budget. As both an employer and contributor to economic growth, business has a massive stake in how local government works. Our local authorities have a significant impact on business conditions and cost competitiveness in their localities through the policies they implement.

“The performance of our regions and our localities will have a defining impact on the wider success of the economy. We need local authorities capable of supporting the delivery of quality infrastructure and services, such as housing, transport, education and broadband. Such investment will improve accessibility, eliminate daily congestion challenges and help improve the attractiveness of our cities and towns to investors and mobile talent.”

The Ibec campaign priorities include:

  • Sustainable economic growth and demographic change must be planned locally as well as nationally. Local authorities must oversee the local implementation of the National Planning Framework, including new housing strategies that deliver quality and affordable housing.
  • New commercial incentive schemes are needed to encourage regeneration, entrepreneurship and productive investment in our regions. Reducing the burden of commercial rates, that at present are mostly used to fund services not consumed by business, would make it easier for employers to create jobs.

The event also addressed the proposal of directly elected mayors, which the people of Cork city, Limerick city and county, and Waterford city and county will have an opportunity to vote for in a plebiscite on May 24. Mr. O’Brien said: “While Ibec supports the principle of directly elected mayors, we need to first get our existing local government structures right.”

Local Elections 2019 campaign pdf | 4007.5 kb