27 September 2022
By Mary Bermingham
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 €1.2 billion package will be enough to support businesses through the winter.
“We welcome the fact that the scale of the budget package reflects the scale of the challenge that businesses and households are facing this coming year. This is an energy and inflation crisis that is unprecedented, and extraordinary measures are needed,” said Cork Chamber CEO, Conor Healy.
Inflation and business supports
“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 €1.2 billion package is very positive but government should be open to revisiting the measures as the situation evolves over the coming months.”
“The cost of living supports package for households is really important both to cushion people against rising inflation and energy prices and to support the wider economy and consumer spending on which much of our economy depends.”
“We welcome the measures to increase affordable and social housing supply but this budget does not tackle the viability challenge for high density housing developments or directly address the private sector supply of housing.”
“The measures will go some way to providing relief to house buyers, landlords and renters but they are not enough to trigger the increase in supply of housing that is needed to tackle our housing crisis. Further measures need to be introduced, particularly for city centre brownfield sites.”
“We are disappointed not to see more in Budget 2023 on investment in and speeding renewable energy development and deployment given recent investor exits from offshore wind developments in Ireland. Apart from confirming the budget for MARA, there was a lack of focus on renewable energy,” he said.
“The announcements of increased transport infrastructure budgets are welcome as well as the extension of the public transport fare reductions. Accelerated capital investment in transport infrastructure will help us meet our 2030 climate targets.”
“The measures to improve the affordability of childcare are very positive. Access to childcare is a vital element to supporting our labour market and has been a real challenge for people returning to work post-Covid.”
Cork Events centre and employer business vouchers
“We welcome €15 million to support to the development of the events centre in Cork and other measures such as the increase in the limit for the employer business vouchers and gift vouchers from €500 to €1000,” said Cork Chamber CEO, Conor Healy.