CORK Chamber has welcomed the scale of Budget 2023 to tackle the challenges of the energy and inflation crisis but said it is not clear that the €1.2bn package will be enough to support businesses through the winter.
‘This is an energy and inflation crisis that is unprecedented, and extraordinary measures are needed,’ said its ceo Conor Healy.
‘The level of investment in supports for businesses facing rocketing energy prices is welcome and badly needed but it is not clear whether the government’s Temporary Business Energy Support (TBES) Scheme covering 40% of the increase in energy bills will be enough going into this winter. The €1.2bn package is very positive but government should be open to revisiting the measures as the situation evolves over the coming months,’ he said.
He added that the Chamber was disappointed not to see more on investment in and speeding renewable energy development and deployment given recent investor exits from offshore wind developments in Ireland.
Bandon auctioneer Majella Galvin, of DNG Galvin welcomed the extension of the Help to Buy incentive scheme until December 2024.
She also welcomed the move to reintroduce the rent tax credit of €500 per annum, to those not in receipt of other housing supports, to help ease the cost of rental accommodation, with married couples or civil partners qualifying for a credit of €1,000 per annum.
But she was critical the Budget did nothing to encourage small to medium-sized landlords to stay in the market
‘By not committing to review the current punitive taxation regime faced by small to medium-sized landlords in the market in this budget, the government has missed a golden opportunity to stem their exodus from the rental sector.’
She added: ‘The failure to reduce the tax burden for landlords will mean many more will choose to exit the rental sector in the months ahead, further reducing the amount of available stock with rent caps in place that are available to rent.’
Cork Airport welcomed the allocation of €6m capital funding to introduce a state-of-the-art security screening system.
The new system will end the need to remove laptops, liquids, gels and other items from cabin baggage and will improve the passenger experience, it said.
Cork Airport’s acting managing director Roy O’Driscoll thanked Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD and Minister Michael McGrath TD for the allocation.
‘The €6m funding will be put towards the upgrading of our passenger security screening area. This project will involve the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment as well as the completion of significant civil works within the terminal building,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Cormac Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald & Partners in Kinsale described Budget 2023 as a ‘tactical’ budget given its focus on helping individuals, families and business through the cost of living crisis. ‘Where inflation will go in 2023 remains unclear, but the Government has given individuals and businesses much-needed support for what will be a difficult period for the economy as a whole. It would be good to see the SME sector get more help and support given it accounts for 99% of enterprises in the Irish economy.’