Mixed reaction to budget from business community

Hospitality sector crestfallen over VAT increase as others broadly welcome measures

Budget 2019 elicited a range of varying reactions from the business community. File photograph: Getty Images

Budget 2019 elicited a range of varying reactions from the business community. File photograph: Getty Images

 
  • “Removing the 9 per cent VAT rate in today’s budget is a kick in the teeth for the hospitality sector,” Vintners’ Federation of Ireland
  • “After a decade of running budget deficits, we welcome a return to surplus and a balancing of the books,” said Ibec.
  • “There is sufficient funding in Budget 2019 to make a major improvement in the housing crisis, but going from allocated funds to built homes will require the government to overcome a number of barriers,” said the Society of Charted Surveyors of Ireland
  • “(The) Budget was some acknowledgment of the income difficulties in agriculture, but the upcoming major issues of Brexit and Cap will require much more Government commitment and support for farming,” said the Irish Farmers’ Association
  • “It is very disappointing that Budget 2019 hasn’t done more to protect the geographically and socially vital Irish retail sector as we enter into what will be a very difficult trading period,” Retail Ireland
  • “We avoided the stick but there were no carrots,” said AA Ireland
  • “The increase in spending on social housing is welcome but the emphasis must be on new build rather than competing with other buyers in the market by looking to acquire or lease properties,” said Property Industry Ireland.
  • “Dublin Chamber welcomes the improved support for affordable housing and childcare, but we are concerned by the lack of Government ambition for Irish enterprise,” said Dublin Chamber.
  • “This additional funding will ensure that Screen Ireland is in a strong position to support new and established Irish creative talent across film, television and animation production,” said Screen Ireland.
  • “It is regrettable that the Government has again ignored the SFA’s call to reduce Capital Gains Tax to 20 per cent across the board, to make investing in a business in Ireland more attractive.” said the Small Firms Association.
  • “Trócaire welcomes the announcement to increase funding for the world’s poorest people. Significantly, Ireland is heading in the right direction towards reaching its commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on overseas development,” said Trócaire.
  • “Smokers have been the whipping boys of successive governments for far too long. A further increase in tobacco duties, including the minimum excise duty, is immoral because it deliberately targets low earners and others who can least afford it,” said Forest Ireland.
  • “By increasing the VAT to 13½ per cent the Government is negatively impacting the Irish tourism sector and dismissing a positive job creation initiative,” said the Restaurants Association of Ireland.
  • “The CIF welcomes the €2.3 billion housing package announced and the 24 per cent increase in capital infrastructure funding. However, we are disappointed that there was no clarity in relation to an extension of the Help to Buy scheme which is due to expire in December 2019,” said the Construction Industry Federation.
  • “The government has done very little to address the growing crisis in third-level funding in Budget 2019. The allocation of €57 million in ‘extra’ funding on top of existing commitments on national pay increases, while welcome, only allows the system to tread water,” said the Irish Universities Association.
  • Budget 2019 has shown some efforts to tackle child poverty through much needed social welfare changes but failed to deliver the ambition and vision required to meet its own target of lifting 100,000 children out of consistent poverty by 2020,” said Barnardos.
  • “The announcements in relation to social and affordable housing are positive and a step in the right direction to increase stock levels in these vital sectors. However, the Government measures in relation to the private rental sector are disappointing,” said auctioneer Sherry FitzGerald.
  • “Meeting our environmental commitments relating to carbon emissions will require a huge effort on the part of Government, industry and public over the coming years, and the decision to extend the hybrid vehicle registration tax (VRT) relief is an important step in that campaign,” said Toyota.
  • “On balance, Budget 2019 is ambitious and aims to give hope to most. However, more imaginative and targeted supports are needed to insulate the retail industry and the thousands of jobs it supports,” said Retail Excellence Ireland.
  • “It is disappointing that, for the third time, we’re seeing a delay in the pension increase, especially when it is perhaps most needed in January and February to help during the coldest months,” said Age Action.
  • “This budget decision on VRT flies in the face of the stated support and consideration for those impacted by Brexit,” said the Society of the Irish Motor Industry.