Shannon Chamber welcomes funding for Aviation, Tourism and Training in Budget 2022

As a contributor to Chambers Ireland pre-Budget 2022 submission to Government, Shannon Chambers welcomes the supports announced in the Budget for key areas that link in with Chambers Ireland’s strategy, namely, for sustainable cities and communities, industry, innovation and infrastructure, climate action, decent work and economic growth and, gender equality.

Acknowledging that some key asks included in the pre-Budget submission have not been addressed, Shannon Chamber CEO, Helen Downes, a member of Chambers Ireland board, said that such omissions will be reviewed and assessed for further action.

Zoning in on areas of key importance to Shannon Chamber members and to the Mid-West region, Ms Downes said that the allocations of €90m to rebuild vital connectivity to Irish airports and the €39m allocated to Tourism Ireland are most welcome.

“Shannon Chamber and the Irish Hotels Federation, with the support of Ennis, Limerick and Galway Chambers, have been calling on Government to provide additional funding on a multi-annual base to both sectors, to help them recover from the adverse impact COVID-19 has had on them, cognitive of the fact that a recovery to 2019 levels of activity is not predicted to occur until at least 2024. 

“We look forward to hearing the detail behind the €90m funding for aviation, and would hope that the budget amount and the programmes to which it will be allocated are focused on the real problem that needs to be solved – the restoration of previously viable routes that provide connectivity to the UK, Europe and North America for tourism and globally traded businesses.

“We also welcome the new funding announced for Skillnet Ireland. Total Exchequer funding for Skillnet Ireland in 2022 extends to €42m, which will be leveraged by a further €22m in private sector matched funding. Budget 2022 was the 5th consecutive year of budget increases secured by Skillnet Ireland, representing a threefold increase in Exchequer funding by year end 2022. Increasing allocations to Skillnet Ireland shows Government’s commitment to supporting business through talent and gives Shannon Chamber, as a Skillnet network, a voice in how the National Training Fund is directed. Skillnet funding and programmes greatly assist our member companies, and the unemployed, whom we support through the Skills Connect initiative, with reskilling and upskilling to respond to ever-changing business requirements.”

Hosting its annual post-Budget analysis with Grant Thornton is a key part of Shannon Chamber’s deliverables to members. Over 100 people attended this year’s virtual briefing, which was delivered by Grant Thornton’s Vic Angley, partner, Tax, Theresa O’Gorman, director, Tax, and Kevin Devenney, director, Indirect Tax.

Measures impacting business, including the employment investment incentive scheme, relief for start-up companies, digital gaming tax credit, the accelerated capital allowance, zoned land tax, the implementation of the anti-tax avoidance directive (ATAD), and the new corporate tax rate were covered during the briefing .

Measures impacting individuals, such as personal tax rates and bands, changes in the universal tax, minimum pay rates, COVID-19 supports for employers and company directors, and indirect tax measures such as the 9% VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors, the carbon and tobacco products tax and vehicle registration tax were also covered.

Speaking after the briefing, Shannon Chamber’s Helen Downes added: “As stated by all three presenters, the Budget has become a higher level event relative to the Finance Bill, which, it two weeks’ time, will expand on the detail of measures included in the Budget. We look forward to reading the detail at this next stage.”