Food and drink body warns against ‘discriminatory taxes’

IBEC group makes 24 recommendations to support growth in the agri-food sector

Food and Drink Industry Ireland director Paul Kelly said the food and drink industry was more deeply embedded in all regions of the Irish economy than any other manufacturing sector. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Food and Drink Industry Ireland director Paul Kelly said the food and drink industry was more deeply embedded in all regions of the Irish economy than any other manufacturing sector. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

The Government should avoid discriminatory taxes on food and beverages and should support voluntary industry efforts on health and nutrition, Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII) has said.

The Ibec group has made a series of policy recommendations aimed at capitalising on recent developments in the agri-food sector, such as the ending of the milk quota regime, the re-opening of several international markets and the possibility of new trade deals.

The Opening the Sustainable Agri-Food Economy report calls for tax relief measures to be expanded to encourage more investment in existing businesses and start-ups.

Access to funding

Food and Drink Industry Ireland also calls for a review of State aid rules to increase the level of indigenous and foreign investment.

It says that State agencies should receive more funding to support the agri-food sector. The 24 recommendations also include a recommendation to “reduce industrial energy costs to the EU average and significantly reduce other utility and local authority charges”.

It calls for a reduction in personal taxes and capital gains tax to encourage employment, investment and consumer spending.

Grocery sector regulations should be enforced and budgetary measures should be introduced to stimulate consumer demand and support domestic grocery and food service sectors, the report says.

FDII director Paul Kelly noted that exports had surpassed €10 billion a year and that a new national 2025 strategy was being developed to build on Food Harvest 2020.