Engineering Industries Ireland launches Budget 2023 submission
Engineering Industries Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the engineering manufacturing and services sector in Ireland, today launched its Budget 2023 submission, calling on Government to use Budget 2023 as a means of protecting the sector’s competitiveness amidst an exceptionally volatile external economic environment.
Speaking at the launch, Director of Engineering Industries Ireland, Pauline O’Flanagan said: “The engineering sectors that we represent have exports of €8.8 billion (3.6% of national exports), with 10,800 enterprises employing 50,751 people. It is an integral component of the broader domestic economy.
“Irish engineering technology sectors are highly integrated upstream and downstream, which makes them very susceptible to indirect effects that are felt when demand or supply sectors fail. Like many sectors of the economy there have been indirect consequences of the Russia invasion on Ukraine that have led to enormous increases in the prices of energy, industrial metals and other raw materials.
“In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a negative impact on the free movement of goods in our sectors with supply shortages, stock building and increased demand aggravating supply bottlenecks. In short, there are many reasons to believe that Ireland’s engineering and technology industries will need to continue to adapt to volatile times.
“As we face into Budget 2023, the industry is facing a range of challenges that threaten its competitiveness. These include the impact of the changing international tax landscape, the war on talent, the impact of inflation on engineering businesses especially small and medium enterprises and increased regulation. It is imperative that Government use Budget 2023 as an opportunity to protect the sector’s competitiveness amidst an exceptionally volatile external economic environment.”
Amongst the key asks of the Engineering Industries Ireland Budget 2023 submission are:
• Put in place a State backed export credit insurance scheme and an Export Credit Agency to ensure Irish engineering businesses can compete on a level playing field on the international markets.
• Improve R&D tax credit scheme to allow smaller engineering firms to participate and support the development of an innovation ecosystem for engineering industries
• To support industry ambition to play a leading role in climate change to achieve Ireland’s 2030 emissions targets of 51% (from 2018 levels) and in the development of new sustainable products and processes, Government should accelerate the transformation of the energy sector to renewables energy generation and support Irish businesses transition to low carbon sources.
• To develop and attract talent to the sector and to foster engagement and lifelong learning, government should: Improve gender balance, equity and inclusion in STEM education, targeted towards higher percentages of women in engineering and technology professions; Give broader access to engineering subjects at second level education; Leverage the national training fund to deliver a future skills analysis for all engineering sectors; Put in place “a fit for purpose” agile Irish employment permit scheme to meet the needs of the present and future labour market.
• To encourage and embrace a progressive and value-driven regulatory ecosystem that sustains the evolution of the engineering industries in Ireland, Government should strengthen regulatory capacities and lead at EU level.