Covid-19: Ibec letter to Government

March 15, 2020

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has called on businesses to review their implementation of Government guidance on social distancing measures to help avoid unnecessary gatherings, while preserving the delivery of essential services and supply chains. 

In a letter addressed to An Taoiseach, key cabinet Ministers, Secretary Generals, Advisers and to all political party leaders today, Ibec also called on Government to unveil further extensive stimulus measures to support businesses amidst the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said that while the priority of the business community remains the public health imperative, Government must now introduce measures to support vulnerable businesses and avoid large scale job losses. He welcomed the Revenue Commission’s signal to help demand distressed companies with their cashflow constraints.

Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “The economic aspects of this crisis are unique. There is no precedent and it will require a very different policy response to that used in previous crises. A coordinated international and multi-agency fiscal stimulus package will ultimately be required in order to reboot our damaged economy. 

“It is inevitable that we will see extensive job layoffs over the coming days and weeks. Many of those losing their incomes will be in lower paid sectors of the economy and self-employed. Immediate introduction of additional wage subsidies and social welfare measures is required in order to provide a reasonable basic income to all workers impacted by the crisis.

“The impact of a collapse in demand and revenue for frontline consumer and hospitality businesses will affect other sectors over the coming weeks. The State must further extend its cashflow supports and forbearance measures through Revenue and Local Government and continue to adjust supports which can help preserve as many enterprises as possible through the crisis period.” 

The group outlined that by communicating the intent to deliver a large fiscal and monetary stimulus in coordination with EU partners, the Irish Government can now help offset some of the panic which is permeating all elements of our economy and society. Signalling the intention to unveil further extensive stimulus measures to support demand recovery in the future will help preserve many businesses and jobs during the crisis period.