Cork Chamber unveils wishlist for Government’s 2021 Budget

30 September 2020
By Bryan Smyth

Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber with Seamus Downey, EY and Chairperson of the Cork Chamber Budget Committee launch the Chamber Budget 2021 Submission
Picture Darragh Kane

Speaking at the launch of the Cork Chamber Budget 2021 Submission, Chamber President Paula Cogan said,

“Budget 2021 must be about securing our economic resilience with infrastructural investment, finessing the pandemic supports and tax measures critical to normalising the economy and State finances.”

“To provide continuity to construction and to move beyond the legacy of the last recession, significant moves must be made to drive on and accelerate key projects such as the Cork Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan, the National Broadband Plan and Renewable Electricity Support Scheme, which will set the scene for new ways of mobility, communication and energy that are fit to drive a modern economy.”

“To keep our region open for business, there must be commitment to invest in capital projects, and marketing for Cork Airport. Local spend in hospitality and retail can also be enhanced by boosting the tax free voucher system from €500 to €1,000.”

Chair of the Cork Chamber Budget Committee, Seamus Downey of EY said, “Extension of the EWSS beyond March 2021 will be absolutely essential to the revival of businesses beyond Q1 and the criteria must be reviewed to ensure that businesses and jobs are not lost unnecessarily between now and then. It must be remembered that keeping the economy going will be our best route to recovery.”

“There is a window of opportunity, through a temporary reduction of Capital Gains Tax to 25% to stimulate economic activity. The last significant reduction in CGT led to a 36% increase in yield and in the current circumstance, a reduction could bring similar value. A time bound CGT exemption for passive investors is another initiative that could also see many companies through the pandemic with the support of private equity, reducing the level of State capital tied up in supports.”

In closing Seamus Downey said “There are many ways to achieve economic stability despite the major challenges posed by this pandemic and we have a stable tax base and international rating from which to do so. Counter cyclical spend on infrastructure, a laser sharp focus on ensuring that existing supports work and a blend of tax related measures to stimulate economic activity is a recipe that will hold us in good stead.”

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