Ibec, the organisation representing Irish businesses, hosted a Budget Briefing on business priorities for the Midlands region in Athlone, bringing together local members and TDs (pictured). During the meeting, Ibec’s members highlighted rising operating costs as a serious concern heading into Budget 2024.
Ibec is urging the Government to support businesses affected by significant new labour market costs, such as the Living Wage and Pensions Auto-enrolment. Ibec is also advocating for the establishment of a National Infrastructure Fund to ensure that key infrastructure projects are delivered.
Helen Leahy (the Head of Regional Policy) said, “The establishment of a new National Infrastructure Fund is aimed at addressing Ireland’s considerable social, economic, and environmental infrastructure needs committed to be fulfilled in the next decade. Ibec contends that delaying investment in the short-term, aimed at preventing overheating, will impede future economic expansion and adversely affect Ireland’s long-term competitiveness.
“One of the most effective means of stimulating regional economies, such as the Midlands, is by investing in infrastructure, including housing, education, transport, broadband, and making urban centres vibrant and attractive places to work and live.
“Furthermore, Budget 2024 must acknowledge the ramifications of rapidly escalating employment costs imposed on employers by Government policies, such as the Living Wage and Pensions Auto-enrolment”.