Updated: 13/10/16 : 07:47:52
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Sligo Chamber hosts post Budget briefing session

Sligo Chamber hosted a Post Budget Briefing session in the Sligo Park Hotel on the morning after Budget 2017 which was attended by just over 60 members. Sponsored by the Sligo Park Hotel and delivered by Martin Coggins from Coggins & Co the briefing concentrated on the changes brought about by Budget 2017 and their likely impact on personal and company finances.

Commenting on Government’s Budget, Des Faul, President of Sligo Chamber, welcomed the pro-business measures announced in Budget 2017 but warns that the longer term concerns of business remain.

He stated “There is something for everyone in this Budget but the business community would have liked to see more measures to assist them as we enter an era of post-Brexit uncertainty . In particular he welcomed the increased funding to Skillnets by the Minister for Education & Skills by €2million for 2017, the reduction in the rate of Capital Gains Tax applied to Entrepreneur Relief  from 20% to 10% will be welcome and of particular relevance to high potential SMEs.

"Investment in childcare through direct subsidies to providers will have a positive impact on female labour market participation and job activation and is a welcome support for working parents.  Also the retention of the 9% VAT rate for tourism especially here in the north West as it is instrumental in the recovery of this industry and allows us to remain competitive at a time of uncertainty due to Brexit.”

Mr Faul continued, “Some of the measures announced such as the €400 increase to the Earned Income Tax Credit for the self-employed will help Irish businesses as they enter a potentially challenging trading environment.

"However, the reality is that the major concerns for the business community go beyond Budget 2017. The big threats to Ireland’s economic development will need strategic level interventions on issues such as maintaining our relative competitiveness with the UK, rapidly expanding our investment in infrastructure and ensuring our export driven economy and exchequer receipts can be sustained in the face of diminishing international demand.” 

“We must adopt a sense of realism. It is not possible to “Brexit-proof” the economy and as a region we must stand ready to be as adaptable and flexible as we have been in the past to devise strategies to address forthcoming challenges as they become clearer,” concluded the Chamber president.