July Stimulus is a timely confidence and investment boost
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has strongly welcomed the July Stimulus package announced from Government today, the largest single economic stimulus in the history of the State.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “On behalf of the Irish business community, today’s stimulus package of increased public spending, investment and tax supports is a welcome and important step in rebooting the economy. Government has taken on board Ibec’s extensive inputs over recent months and unveiled a comprehensive package of economic and business supports. It is imperative that the package is now delivered alongside measures that ensure as safe a return to as much economic activity as possible in the coming months.
“The suite of financial supports announced today, including the amendments to the Restart Grant and Covid-19 Credit Guarantee scheme, will bring huge relief to businesses who are continuing to overcome the challenges posed by Covid disruption. It is crucial that the various supports available are now delivered more efficiently than has been the case to date.
“It is positive to note the extension and expansion in scope of the Wage Subsidy Scheme until April 2021. This scheme will play a vital role in enabling the economy to bounce back at the other end of this crisis, helping vulnerable firms to stay afloat and keeping their employees engaged whilst protecting the incomes of individuals.
“A welcome feature of today’s package is the €200m dedicated to retraining those who have been made unemployed over the course of the pandemic, alongside a commitment to better support apprenticeships and related training courses nationwide. Getting those workers who have lost their jobs because of Covid back into the labour market will be a key determinant of the rate of our economic recovery. Such supports must be targeted at those sectors and regions most adversely impacted by Covid.”
Mr. McCoy said the commitment of €500m to accelerate capital works projects will enable the advancement of regional development, housing and sustainable transport objectives.
However, he added caution that this stimulus package alone will not reboot the economy and should be part of a wider suite of measures aimed at delivering economic recovery – more must now be done to ensure the safe return of footfall to towns and cities. Greater clarity is still needed on returning to office work and education and more fully functioning childcare and transport.