Reaction to Budget 2023 from Business & Automotive Associations

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Irish Exporters Association cautiously welcomes Budget 2023, but wonders is it enough? 

Commenting on Budget 2023, Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association said: “The Irish Exporters Association welcomes the attention given to supporting businesses faced with extreme energy costs. Considering continued uncertainties faced by our members, we cautiously welcome Minister Donohoe’s announcement of a Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (T-BESS). We are concerned however that it may not be enough to help companies which are high energy users and are operating on very thin margins.

The IEA welcomes the Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme. We believe it will go some way towards meeting the supports required by our members. Such is the extent of the energy crisis now; we feel more information will be required immediately so companies can make the best decision for them. In addition, we feel more information is needed from Government on the newly announced Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme. Previous schemes of this nature have not worked as intended. The supports announced today are cautiously welcomed but we firmly believe these packages will need to continue to May 2023 at the earliest.”

Budget implications for the Motor Industry

Budget 2023, contains some measures specific to motoring:

VRT

  • No VRT changes for cars or commercial vehicles

VAT and Excise Extensions

  • Extending the current excise reduction of 21 cent per litre in respect of petrol, 16 cent per litre in respect of diesel and 5.4 cent per litre in respect of Marked Gas Oil (MGO), and the 9 per cent VAT rate for electricity and gas until 28 February 2023.

Carbon Tax

  • The rate per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted for petrol and diesel will go up from €41 to €48.50 from 12 October as per the trajectory set out in the Finance Act 2020. This will mean that there will be an increase of just over two cent VAT inclusive per litre of petrol and diesel.
  • Recognising the sharp cost of living challenges currently being faced by society, so the government is therefore proposing to offset this carbon tax increase with a reduction to zero of the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy.
  • The NORA levy which is collected at a rate of 2 cent per litre (VAT exclusive) will help offset the carbon tax increase which means that the price at the pump will not go up as a result of taxes or levies.

Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme

  • To assist businesses with their energy cost over the winter months.

Carbon Reduction Programmes

€110m is being provided towards making the switch to electric vehicles. Specifically grant support is being provided for the:

  • Continuation of the purchase grant scheme for electric passenger cars, with a gradual reduction in the grant from July 2023
  • Continuation and expansion of the home charging infrastructure scheme to include multi-unit dwellings
  • Continuation of a grant scheme for taxi and hackney drivers with a gradual reduction in the grant from July 2023
  • Continuation of an alternatively fuelled heavy goods vehicles purchase grant scheme
  • Continuation of the Low Emission Vehicle Toll Incentive Scheme
  • Reviewing the scheme for public point charging
  • Delivering a new Shared Island Scheme for destination charging at sports clubs
  • Funding research to support the further decarbonisation of transport in Ireland

Commenting on Budget 2023, SIMI Director General Brian Cooke: “SIMI is pleased that the Government listened to the Industry and did not increase VRT in Budget 2023. In addition, the extension of the EV car SEAI grant scheme for the first half of next year will bring more potential buyers into the Electric Vehicle project, although the signal that this grant will be reduced from July is a concern. We hope the Government can re-consider this closer to the time, as any reduction could undermine sales in what is still the early stages of the EV project. SIMI also welcomes the announcement of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme for employers which we hope will mitigate against rising energy costs and help to protect employment.”

 

Small Firms Association comments on to Budget 2023 

In responding to Minister Pascal Donohoe and Minister Michael McGrath’s Budget speeches, the Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA) Sven Spollen-Behrens said: “Today’s announcements to help businesses with their energy bills are to be welcomed. “We are pleased to see the establishment of a Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme, which will be administered by Revenue and backdated to September. The SFA will engage with Government to support the proper and efficient administration of this new scheme, which will benefit, retail, wholesalers, suppliers, caterers, office-based businesses and the experience economy to mitigate the impact of rising energy costs. Additional funding for energy efficiency schemes will help small businesses become more energy efficient.

“Reducing taxes on jobs is essential to help indigenous enterprises attract and retain staff and maintain competitiveness, SFA welcomes the increase in the entry point to the top rate of tax and rise in the small benefit exemption. Measures to decrease the cost of childcare, household energy bills and promote the use of public transport through reduced fares will lead to improved labour market participation and ease some of the financial strain that employees are experiencing.  We welcome the additional funding for the LEO network to extend supports to small firms employing more than 10 people. However, it is regrettable that the SFA’s call to make investing in a business in Ireland more attractive through a reduce Capital Gains Tax and changes to the Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) and other tax measures, has again been ignored. The tourism and hospitality sectors are highly important for small firms and for the economy overall, it is very disappointing that the Government has decided not to extend the 9% VAT rate. The cost of doing business crisis is a battle on many fronts and today’s budget announcements don’t go far enough for small business owners facing increasing labour costs, insurance, commodity prices and rent pressures. These are hugely worrying times for small business, and for many, 2023 is going to be a difficult year”, concluded Spollen-Behrens.

AA Ireland welcomes the extension on the reduction of excise duty on fuel and the price reductions on Public Transport Services 

The Automobile Association has welcomed the extension of the reduction of excise duty on fuel and the continued support for public transport pricing as announced in Budget 2023. “There wasn’t much in the Budget for motorists specifically – the big question was whether or not there would be relief on petrol or diesel, well there was and there wasn’t in equal measures because while there was a reduction of the NORA (National Oil Reserves) Levy on fuel which amount to two cents, this was wiped out by an increase in Carbon Tax by the same amount,” said Paddy Comyn, Head of Communications for The AA. “However, there was a welcome extension of the excise relief on petrol (21 cents) and diesel (16 cents) until the 28th of February 2023. So while there are no increases, the average motorist is still paying around €2,000 per year now to fuel their car. The AA welcomes the extension of the reduction in public transport fares (of 20%) until the end of 2023, which will encourage more use of public transport, but there still remains too much variance in the quality of public transport services between urban and rural areas.”