CEO Update: Ireland’s competitiveness, Budget 2024 and Liam Connellan

September 29, 2023

The latest CEO Update to Ibec membership from Danny McCoy

Dear member,

With less than two weeks to go until Budget 2024, Ireland’s competitiveness remains front and centre of Ibec’s lobbying priorities.

Budget 2024 Priorities

This year’s Budget must acknowledge the ramifications of rapidly escalating operating costs for businesses. Our sector-wide estimates on the Living Wage and Pensions Autoenrollment indicate that these measures would significantly increase costs across the entire economy.

We believe the Government must produce a clear roadmap on tax (PRSI, USC, IT) and social welfare (Working Family Payment, Housing Assistance Payment, SUSI grants, childcare subsidies, etc) to ensure that the introduction of the living wage does not lead to high marginal effective tax rates for workers.

Ibec has raised these concerns and implications of these changes with the Ministers for Finance, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, politicians with economic portfolios, the Low Pay Commission, the Civil Service and across the political spectrum.

In the last number of weeks, along with impacted members, we have met over 70 TDs and 16 ministers in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Donegal and held a political briefing on these issues in Dublin earlier this week.

Ibec has highlighted the cost implications of these changes and lobbied for cost supports to be included in Budget 2024. Given the scale of the increases, we are calling for a split introduction of the 2024 recommendation of the living wage in January and another date later in the year.

Ibec will continue to raise these issues both in the media and with political stakeholders prior to Budget Day which will take place on Tuesday, 10th of October.

On the day, Ibec’s Chief Economist Gerard Brady will share in-depth insights and analysis of Budget 2024 and what it means for business on our exclusive member webinar. You can register your attendance here.

RIP Liam Connellan, Former Director General of the Confederation of Irish Industry

It is with sadness that Ibec notes the passing of Liam Connellan, former Director General of Ibec's forerunner, the Confederation of Irish Industry. Liam played a pivotal role in the development of the CII having come from the IMI in 1972 to steady the organisation in the aftermath of the tragedy of the Staines air crash which deprived the community of twelve business leaders.

Liam’s early tenure coincided with Ireland’s entry into the now European Union and against the background of the Troubles on our island. His professionalism and amicable personality meant that he could establish relationships in Brussels and Belfast with equal measure. He helped form the Joint Business Council with the Confederation of British Industry for Northern Ireland business linkages which lay the seeds of the peace process two decades later.

The creation of Ibec in 1993 by the merger of CII and FIE was a significant achievement by both Liam and John Dunne, who both showed remarkable foresight and leadership.

When he retired his passion for industry continued in his Presidential tenure in the RDS, the academy of engineers and in transportation in particular with the successful Dublin Luas light rail project. His social justice empathy found expression in many charities, notably the Peter McVerry Trust and Kylemore Abbey.

The term most used to describe Liam was "gentleman" - which is more than apt. We extend our condolences to Liam Connellan's family and friends.

As always if you have any queries regarding this or any other aspects of our work, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Danny McCoy