Chamber calls on government to ensure funding commitments

By Maurice Garvey

SOUTH Dublin Chamber has called on the Government to ensure that funding commitments made under Project 2040 are delivered, regardless of Brexit outcome.

The move follows the recent publication of the Summer Economic Statement by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Peter Byrne 5 1

South Dublin Chamber CEO Peter Byrne

South Dublin Chambers Chief Executive Peter Byrne acknowledged the growing possibility of a no-deal Brexit this Autumn, which will “make it enormously challenging for both business and the State to plan for the coming months and years.”

“On one hand, the economy is experiencing continuous growth with unemployment at its lowest level since the height of the Celtic Tiger. On the other hand, should the worst-case scenario come to pass this autumn, our growth projections could be wiped out. However, deal or no deal, the commitments to invest in capital infrastructure made as part of the National Development Plan must not be side-lined.

“The economy cannot endure another ‘lost decade’, where investment in infrastructure and housing was minimal. Ongoing housing shortages, infrastructure deficits and the demands that the transition to a low carbon economy will entail, must be addressed in Budget 2020.

“Our own pre-Budget submission to Government will include a series of recommendations that will put productivity and inclusion at heart of how we can grow the economy in a sustainable way.”

Byrne cites “sustainable infrastructure that supports affordable homes” as an appropriate measure for a growing population, and believes improving the construction sector productivity “must be at the heart of Budget 2020.”

He says current revenue from carbon taxes must be ring fenced to support the low carbon economy, and encourages government to develop a set of guidelines to “support flexible working, and greater access to affordable quality childcare.”

“In the event of a no-deal Brexit Minister Donohoe should implement a supplementary budget to account for the extraordinary and traumatic shock that will be inflicted on the island.”

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