#Budget19: The day in quotes

Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI)

“While it is encouraging to see that the Government are Brexit proofing certain sectors, Budget19 has failed to extend this to an industry that employs over 250,000 in the drinks and tourism sector and exports almost €300 million to the UK annually. DIGI will continue campaigning for a reduction in alcohol excise tax in 2019.”

Irish Heart Foundation head of advocacy, Chris Macey

The tobacco industry needs an estimated 50 young people to take up smoking every day in Ireland to replace those its products kill or who manage to quit. So every annual tax increase brings the end of this vile trade in Ireland a little nearer.

Niall Comer, Uachtarán Conradh na Gaeilge

“Conradh na Gaeilge are disappointed that Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, TD, has not done more, especially since we met him in June and discussed the devastating cuts made to Irish language and Gaeltacht funding since 2008, which have not been reversed by the Government in the past four years. The €9m requested for the Investment Plan was needed in this Budget, in order to demonstrate fairness and support for Irish language and Gaeltacht communities.”

Graham Deane, co-founder and COO of UrbanVolt, a company which helps firms to permanently reduce their energy consumption

“The Government is announcing that they will balance the budget next year, but there is little point if we are wilfully destroying our planet.”

National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI)

“Having borne over 30% cuts in funding during the financial crisis, youth work is still to benefit from the recovery, with a risk that some young people will be left behind as under-resourced youth services struggle to cope with our growing youth population.”

Jamie O’Hanlon, ISME national council member and partner in Avid Partners Accountants and Business Advisers

“As a result of the entrepreneur relief of €1m not being widened, there is an increased risk of business flight from Ireland. The gap between the UK and Ireland was not addressed and in fact has now widened thus increasing the risk of business flight.”

Tadhg O’Connell, a publican on Charleville’s Main St

Tadhg O’Connell

“I’m delighted they didn’t increase the excise on drink, the industry just can’t take it. I know the hospitality sector won’t be happy with the Vat increase, but that aside I think it was a relatively good Budget, as could be expected anyway.”

Retailers Against Smuggling spokesman, Benny Gilsenan

Today’s decision (to raise the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes by 50c) is another slap in the face to retailers that have been compliant with every decision made by this Government. We want more resources to be given to Revenue to protect businesses from illicit trade in tobacco, alcohol and solid fuel.

The Environmental Pillar umbrella group’s Oisin Coughlin

“The Government’s U-turn on the carbon tax is a giant two fingers to younger generations who will face climate chaos unless we act to drastically cut pollution. A two fingers to everyone under 35, a two fingers to the Paris Agreement and a two fingers to the hundreds of millions of people already living with the devastating impacts of climate change in African, Asia and Latin America.”

Labour Party housing spokeswoman Jan O’Sullivan

Despite insistences from Fianna Fáil that this would be a ‘housing budget’, it is anything but. Three hundred million euro for a so-called affordable housing scheme is absolutely miserable in the context of what is actually needed.

President of Union of Students in Ireland, Síona Cahill

“Our students continue to face the second highest fees in Europe, haven’t seen any grant increases since they were cut during austerity years, and now face an unprecedented crisis in the availability of accommodation and in the quality of living standards. Student numbers continue to increase while buildings continue to crumble.”

Stay-At-Home Parents Association Ireland, spokeswoman, Pauline O’Reilly

“It’s difficult to look at, what seems like, a gift-horse in the mouth but after tax this amounts to very little and those who really need the support most are left out in the cold. Even as it stands it is below the increase in social welfare payments.”

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