Chambers Ireland outlines key priorities ahead of Budget 2020

Ahead of tomorrow’s announcement of Budget 2020 by the Minister of Finance, Chambers Ireland calls on Government to plan for the long-term challenges to the Irish economy.

Speaking this morning (7 October 2019), Siobhan Kinsella, President of Chambers Ireland outlined some of Chambers Ireland’s key asks for Budget 2020 and beyond.

“The priority of our network is investment in capital infrastructure, where we want to see real progress in the delivery of capital projects. We will also be closely looking at what the Budget means for the decarbonisation of our economy, the housing crisis, and access to affordable childcare.

The Climate Action Plan will require significant investment, and this should be delivered in ways that support competitiveness in the domestic economy. The Minister should ensure that existing and future revenue from Carbon Tax is ring-fenced and invested into low-carbon transition initiatives. If the Minister decides to increase the Carbon Tax, we call on him to publish a multi-annual schedule of increases so that businesses can plan accordingly.

Our housing supply is a crucial economic and competitiveness challenge. We must independently review our housing policies so that State resources can focus on those that have been effective. An expanded Living City Initiative that includes a broader range of urban areas, a properly resourced Land Development Agency and a plan to address the construction sector’s skills gaps will all be fundamental to creating the supply of affordable and appropriate homes we need to resolve our competitiveness, recruitment and quality of life challenges.

A tightened labour market is hurting productivity. While our employment levels are at a record high, many skilled individuals, particularly women burdened with caring duties, remain outside the workforce. Increased investment in the National Childcare Scheme will be essential in improving access to affordable childcare.

Finally, Brexit looms large. We call on Government to budget wisely to enable additional supports for Irish businesses which will face volatile and damaging trading conditions in the event of a no-deal outcome.”

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