“Budget 2017 is being drawn up at a time when the UK government is assessing its post-Brexit future and the impact exiting the EU will have on its attractiveness as an investment location. Given that FDI is a global competition and Ireland is competing with cities with populations in excess of our national total, in compiling Budget 2017, the Government must ensure that it does not detract from Ireland’s attractiveness as a place to invest in and work from,” says Shannon Chamber’s chief executive, Helen Downes.
“As highlighted in the recent National Competitiveness Council Bulletin, Ireland’s infrastructure score has dropped in ranking by two places. While this is worrying at a national level, it is even more so at a regional level and particularly concerns Shannon Chamber members who continually call on us to lobby for the completing of both the M20 motorway to Cork and the N69 linking Foynes Port to national routes, to open up the region’s accessibility. Unlocking the economic potential of the West requires significant investment by the State and the EU in the further development of infrastructure and utilities. If the Government is seriously committed to balanced regional development, measures to enhance rational competiveness must be included in Budget 2017.
“We need to see a fair balance between growth in Dublin and the rest of the county; we need to see action, not promises,” added Ms Downes.
Issues of particular concern to businesses in the Shannon area and which Shannon Chamber would ask the Government to particularly give consideration to when formulating Budget 2017 include:
- No increase in the price of diesel as this will seriously affect the cost of Irish exports, already affected by euro sterling disparity
- Speedy roll out of high-speed broadband to rural locations, the lack of which is seriously disadvantaging businesses operating from rural towns
- A review of rates nationally. The current system is not fit for purpose and needs to be reviewed on a national scale to make it less onerous on business.
- A review of personal tax levels to increase Ireland’s attractiveness for FDI and encourage expats to return to work in Ireland
- Bigger tax breaks for entrepreneurs as they are the risk takers in an endeavour to create employment