Cork Chamber calls for investment over tax cuts

The Government must use Budget 2017 to make up for years of underinvestment by prioritising capital investment over tax cuts, according to Cork Chamber of Commerce.

Setting its stall out ahead of October’s budget, the chamber is advocating accelerated investment in the country’s infrastructure and workers over tax cuts or current spending increases — as favoured by a majority of its members (71%).

“The priority of Budget 2017 must be to focus on investing in our social and capital infrastructure so that we can successfully protect our level of economic growth, start to catch up on years of underinvestment and to provide a sustainable competitive country-wide Irish economy into the future,” said Cork Chamber president Barrie O’Connell.

The Chamber’s pre-budget submission warns that failure to improve road links between the country’s second and third biggest cities by giving the M20 Cork to Limerick motorway the go-ahead “will greatly hamper growth in the region”.

Government should explore the opportunities presented by historically low interest rates, public-private partnerships, and funding from the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to finance the project if the State cannot afford to, it added.

A key theme in the organisation’s submission to government is the equalisation of tax treatment for entrepreneurs by increasing the €550 tax credit available to self-employed workers. Other recommendations include:

  • Raising the €1m limit on capital gains tax at 20% to boost competitiveness;
  • Temporarily reducing Vat on the construction of residential property from 13.5% to 9%;
  • Reintroducing water charges.


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