Tralee Chamber CEO Says Budget 2021 Is A Move In The Right Direction

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TRALEE Chamber Alliance has broadly welcomed Budget 2021 as a move in the right direction towards stimulating a recovery in the economy.

In a statement issued this afternoon, CEO of Tralee Chamber Alliance, Ken Tobin, said the budget  makes significant progress in addressing many of the needs of the most exposed members of the business community.

“The budget delivered yesterday must be appreciated for what it is, which is to address the current crisis brought about by the impact of Covid19 and impending challenge of Brexit.”

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“In particular, we welcome the sense of certainty delivered with the commitment by Government to extend wage supports and provide funding for businesses who are forced to close. The combination of the new reduced 9% VAT rate for the hospitality, service and tourism sectors, extension of the wage support scheme throughout next year, and the introduction of the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme is an adequately targeted response.

There are some missed opportunities in yesterday’s Budget announcements which we must continue to press for, in particular we are disappointed that the Government did not extend the commercial rate waiver into 2021.

In addition, the Budget did not address the challenge many businesses and employees are facing in adapting to a new way of working. Remote working presents an opportunity for counties like Kerry to attract new jobs and people to our county, and the current tax incentives around working from home and the supports available for employers are entirely inadequate. The lack of further supports for the Childcare sector to enable more flexible options for parents is also a challenge not addressed in this Budget.

“There is concern about the lack of available skills within the Construction sector, and while we welcome measures to increase apprenticeship supports, we would be concerned that there will not be adequate resources available to be able to deliver on all of the Governments plans.”

“We are disappointed that yesterday’s Budget failed to deliver on any of the Government’s plans for a Town First policy, which would deliver much needed investment into supporting our towns to overcome the challenges that existed pre-covid and deliver a clear strategy to ensure that our towns are supported to recover.”

“However, in saying all of that, we appreciate the challenge facing Government in delivering on every ask of the business community, and while there are missed opportunities in this Budget, the goal of Government in this Budget was to give “hope and confidence” at a time when everyone needs it most.”

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