THE country’s leading employer body IBEC has given a very positive response to the 2010 Budget.
Its director general Danny McCoy described the budget as “a turning point”.
It puts a stop to the deficit rising any further and “puts Ireland on a sustainable path”, he said.
“The right thing to do was the hard thing to do and the right thing has been done. Confidence can now be restored both to consumers and to international investors,” he said.
“To get the country back to work, the public finances need to be stabilised without further major increases in taxation. It is of critical importance that we make the necessary correction now, rather than dragging it out over many years.”
Mr McCoy listed the following measures that were all positive for the economy:
* The reduction in indirect taxes
* Training places for the unemployed
* Reductions in employers’ PRSI associated with new employment from the Live Register
* The intention to broaden the tax base, allowing employment taxes to remain low
* The national solidarity bond to support capital investment
* The affirmation that Ireland’s low corporation tax will remain plus the commitment to rationalise levies on incomes.
Mr McCoy said the Budget could have done more to direct significant funds towards keeping people in work.
That would have been more productive than spending the same amount on supporting them as they lose their jobs, he said.
“It is regrettable that the carbon tax is mainly a revenue raising measure. A more effective environmental policy would have fully ring-fenced all revenues from carbon tax to support energy efficiency and labour cost reduction measures,” he said.
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association regretted “so few incentives were introduced to assist smaller enterprises remain in business, develop and grow.
It said the Budget was a “lost opportunity” that failed to recognise the plight of small businesses and failed to introduce measures to assist them in maintaining employment and to stay competitive.
It welcomed the badly needed cuts in public sector pay but said the Government should implement the cuts in full.
The cuts in Social Welfare payments and child benefit it described as “unfortunate but necessary, due to the state of the Exchequer finances”.
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