British Irish Chamber Calls For Brexit Mitigation Fund

09 Aug 2018 | 10.26 am

British Irish Chamber Calls For Brexit Mitigation Fund

One of a raft of proposals in the chamber’s pre-budget submission

09 Aug 2018 | 10.26 am

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce (BICC) is calling for the establishment of an EU-wide Brexit mitigation fund for industries and regions negatively impacted by Brexit.

In its pre-budget submission to finance minister Paschal Donohoe, the chamber also warned of the knock-on effects of no-deal Brexit scenario.

The 34-page pre-budget document lists a raft of proposals split into four pillars: Brexit contingency, protecting UK-Irish trade, keeping Ireland competitive and investing in Ireland’s future needs.

As well as the call for Ireland to advocate a Brexit mitigation fund, the BICC’s budget submission suggests the following measures:

  • The establishment of a working group to identify the impact of Brexit on each tax heading;
  • Ring-fencing of a proportion of the annual corporate tax intake for a ‘rainy day fund’ to protect against the shock of a hard Brexit;
  • An incremental reduction in Ireland’s standard rate of VAT;
  • Retaining the 9% VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector;
  • The development of a North-South academic corridor;
  • Doubling of funding for the arts sector over the next five years;
  • The development of a National Infrastructure Commission;
  • A reduction in VAT for large scale buy-to-let developments.

John McGrane (pictured), director-general of the BICC, said that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU offered “a timely, urgent and powerful catalyst for doing the right things, now”.

“Ireland is uniquely exposed to Brexit on all fronts, with untold economic, social and cultural repercussions for decades to come,” McGrane added.

“In advocating for an EU-wide Brexit mitigation fund, the government can help protect the most vulnerable sectors of our economy and areas of the country most impacted by the UK’s impending withdrawal from the EU.

“Setting aside some of our future corporate tax revenue will also provide an additional financial buffer to protect the Irish economy from the worst consequences of Brexit.”

McGrane maintained that future-proofing the Irish economy is not just about Brexit-proofing. “It is also about enhancing Ireland’s competitiveness and investing in our future needs.

“By investing in world-class infrastructure today, we can sustain growth and jobs in 2019 and beyond. By reinvigorating a high-impact and sustainable education system, we can ensure our future workforce is aligned to Ireland of 2040.”

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