Dundalk Chamber held its customary Budget Breakfast on the day after the Budget. The event was sponsored by PayPal and Margaret Ward set out a number of other events they also support in the area. Nathan Doherty of Ernst and Young delivered the lecture.
Dundalk Chamber welcomed the increase in the tax credits and the 20% rate band. We also welcome the extension of the rates waiver, in some cases, for the final quarter of 2021.
We also welcomed the extension of the EWSS scheme which was a specific area we had highlighted in our Budget submission. This will enable the retention of jobs in the area, particularly in the hospitality industry.
The Chamber noted in the recent launch of the revised National Development Plan, NDP that the M1 corridor has retained its status.
We were pleased to see a significant increase in the provision of housing. The Dundalk area is in urgent need of accommodation as it expands in line with the NDP.
We also note the continued support The Government’s decision to retain the tax rebates on electric vehicles, at least for the next two years, but believe more is needed in this area.
A carbon tax increase of €7.50 to €41.00 per tonne, now pushes the price of petrol, diesel, home heating oil and gas, which is on top of a 25% increase on petrol and diesel that we experienced in the last 12 months. These increases in petrol and diesel will not deter peoples driving habits and will not contribute in any way to reducing our Co2 omission targets unless the revenue generated is ring fenced for the green agenda.
The Chamber was disappointed that its call for an increase in the voucher scheme from €500 to €1,000 did not happen. We also asked that if the €500 was retained that an employer could make two payments during the year totaling this amount. This was not introduced but we will lobby as the Finance Bill is debated.
Sean Farrell (President) says that the Shop Local voucher is still the most efficient way for an employer to make a one-off payment each year to their employee. Last year we sold over €1,000,000 and would hope to do the same again in the run up to Christmas.