• IEA Pre-Budget Submission 2018

    The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) are advising that the Government prepare a prudent Budget 2018 that will encourage the growth of Irish exports to world markets. If Ireland is to maintain growth, we need the Government to design a budget that shows a genuine commitment to:

    1. Maintaining and improving our National Cost Competitiveness;
    2. Putting measures in place that will combat the War for Talent;
    3. Broadening our Export Base and Diversification of Export Markets, and
    4. Encouraging and fostering Entrepreneurship.

    The IEA Pre-Budget 2018 Submission sets out recommendations in the following areas:

    Cost Competitiveness

    Brexit

    • State aid to provide subvention/compensation for companies overly exposed to sterling fluctuations if the exchange rate goes above a certain level, this will be different for different sectors. Possibilities for funding include: a levy made by banks on their hedging business for all SMEs; funding from the EU; or a credit against corporate tax payable which relates to the amount of employee taxes payable by an SME (similar to an R & D credit for those engaged in R & D activities)
    • In the event of the UK becoming a third country in terms of international trade as a result of Brexit, the IEA recommend implementing a Postponed Accounting of Import VAT for SMEs overly exposed to the UK market and sterling fluctuation for 2 years

    Infrastructure

    • Significant and strategic investment in the National Planning Framework to grow investment, jobs and population regionally
    • Development of the Atlantic Corridor to increase connectivity along the west coast of Ireland
    • Increasing services from Irish airports which will increase and reflect the cargo and services possibilities for Irish trade
    • More and faster direct services to continental Europe while addressing the regional imbalance in Irish ports by upgrading ports and the road networks and connectivity around them. Major opportunities exist in Cork, Rosslare and Waterford bypassing the UK and sailing direct to Continental Europe
    • Priority should be given to the Metro North link between Dublin City Centre and Dublin Airport and ensure that planning and road developments around Dublin Airport are put in place to deal with projected passenger growth
    • Address shortage in air capacity to all markets from Irish airports and the acute shortage of warehousing facilities in Ireland
    • Immediate solutions need to be sought to the broadband and mobile phone coverage deficits to businesses and homes across the country if Ireland is to remain competitive in a technological age, improvements in broadband and a mobile phone infrastructure need to be immediate

    War for Talent

    • Restructuring the National Training Fund to increase training opportunities for those in employment from 23% of the fund to 50% and rebalancing the fund to upskill those currently in the workforce using initiatives such as Skillnets
    • A communications strategy that promotes apprenticeships in Ireland including a national promotional campaign through second level schools from the junior cycle upwards

    Diversification of Export Markets

    • That Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and our Embassies receive a 10% funding to increase resources in high-growth markets and rapidly developing markets specifically. This will ensure that resources in our biggest developed export markets are not affected. The role of our embassies should be reaffirmed and resourced to ensure they are mandated specially to deal with Irish exporters
    • The IEA should be given a specific role for a campaign in partnership with Government and funded by them to drive our exports
    • The Export Trade Council should have a more formal role to oversee the co-ordination of our state resources that support international trade

    Entrepreneurship

    • Increasing the cap of the Earned Income Tax credit from €950 up to €1650 to be brought in line with PAYE tax credit
    • An increase in in the ceiling of capital gains tax rate for entrepreneurs selling their business from €1m to €10m to compete with the UK

    For a full copy of the IEA Pre-Budget Submission 2018 please click here.