Scale of Budget 2021 is ambitious but appropriate
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, commended today’s Budget announcement from Government, in particular the scale of the package and the supports announced to help business deal with the uncertainties raised by both Covid and Brexit.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “The scale of Budget 2021, the largest in the history of the State, is ambitious but appropriate given the magnitude of challenges facing the Irish economy.
“Ibec has been calling for Government to learn from the mistakes of the past and to not decrease our capital expenditure commitments. Today’s announcement of a planned increase in capital spending is a positive move given the scale of the deficit in both social and physical infrastructure. This investment will be central to our collective efforts in enabling the economy to resurge more competitively and sustainably. It is also positive to see the commitment to fund all island infrastructure projects through the Government’s new Shared Island unit.
“As businesses continue to engage in contingency planning for a ‘Hard Brexit”, Government has made welcome pledges today towards the Recovery Fund and additional measures. It is imperative that we see now these financial supports put to work in the areas of the economy most exposed to the economic fallout of Brexit.”
Ibec has highlighted in recent months the devastating impact that Covid has, and continues to play, on the domestic experience economy, encompassing the tourism and hospitality sector and its diverse supply chain. Today’s announcement of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme, a reduction in VAT, along with extension of the Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme is an important first step in getting the experience economy back on its own feet and will undoubtedly provide a lifeline to many businesses in the sector struggling to stay afloat.
Mr. McCoy added that Ibec welcomed the measures announced today to get people back to work, saying: “The costs of high levels of unemployment, both in social terms and to the Exchequer, is unsustainable and can leave damaging scars on our labour market and society. It is welcome to see policymakers building on the lessons of the last crisis and deliver commitments of increased supports and new labour market activation programmes to support jobseekers.”