The British Irish Chamber of Commerce has responded to the publication of Budget 2022 by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath today.

Speaking after budget was announced, Paul Lynam, Director of Policy and Deputy Director General at the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, said: “The British Irish Chamber of Commerce welcomes today’s Budget, which specifically addresses the current cost of living crisis for households and provides much needed supports for businesses in this extreme inflationary environment.

“In a highly uncertain global landscape, Budget 2023 correctly takes a cautious approach by replenishing the ‘Rainy Day Fund’. While the fund is far from enough given the volatility of corporation tax, the move will allow the country to think long term and prepare for future risks and liabilities like interruptions to trade and supply chain issues.

“The Chamber also warmly welcomes the €238m allocated to the agri-food sector aimed at supporting our farmers as they continue to deal with some of the challenges caused by Brexit and the impact of rising feed and fertiliser prices. This is something which our members have long requested. The agri-food sector is one of Ireland’s most important industries and it is vital the Government continues to protect it.

“Despite these positive aspects, the Chamber remains concerned over the lack of some important measures aimed at keeping Ireland competitive in an increasingly challenging global stage. Given the volatility of the sterling, additional supports should have been announced for exporters, who heavily rely on the UK market for business. Ireland exported €18.1bn worth of goods to the UK in 2021 alone.

“While the shift in the entry rate for the top rate of tax to €40,000 is a welcome move, it is still not enough to make Ireland a location of choice for young talent, especially amongst higher income earners.

“Above all, ahead of the imminent debate in the UK over the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, Budget 2023 fails support critical areas like trade diversification and greater collaboration between Ireland and the UK.”