Lobbying Update

 

For months we have been advocating a graduated extension of Covid supports to avoid a ‘cliff edge’, and a widening of eligibility criteria to ensure that certain businesses are not unfairly excluded. Your feedback has been critical in helping us make this case to Government.

Key deliveries in the Economic Recovery Plan include:

  • Extension of the EWSS beyond 20 June 2021 to 31 December 2021. Current enhanced payment rates will be maintained for Q3 at current turnover thresholds.
  • Commercial Rates Waiver will be extended to end-September in its current form. No commitment beyond then – we had called for extension to end-2021.
  • Tax Debt Warehousing Scheme will be extended to end 2021 for all eligible taxpayers with an interest-free period during 2022. Covid related liabilities will fall to be paid from 1 Jan 2023.
  • Eligibility for the Small Business Assistance Scheme for Covid (SBASC) liquidity grant has been extended to businesses in non-rated premises, e.g. self-employed people working from home, who meet all other criteria.
  • Lower VAT rate for Tourism & Hospitality will be extended to 1st September 2022.

A dedicated new summary rescue process will also be set up for small businesses in difficulty – the Small Companies Administrative Rescue Process (SCARP). Meanwhile, details are awaited of a new events sector support for SMEs that do not qualify for the CRSS. For more information on business supports, click here.

 

Dublin Chamber has welcomed the Plan for the relief these assurances offer to businesses, but we also criticised the absence of a clear strategy for city recovery. Dublin – and urban Ireland in general – has been particularly hit by the pandemic due to a collapse in footfall and closure of premises, but so far there are scarce details of how it will be supported to recover. The unique and unprecedented challenges facing cities must be at the heart of the economic recovery. Covid-19 has dramatically accelerated existing trends in our cities, e.g. through remote working and the digitalisation of retail. These changes raise profound questions about the future of Ireland’s cities and the long-term viability of many of the jobs and businesses they support. We recently wrote to Taoiseach Micheál Martin calling for an action plan to support our cities as they struggle to cope with the significant changes wrought by the Covid-19 crisis, and we will continue making this case in the coming months.

 

Meanwhile, we are working with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and other stakeholders on a new regional economic plan for the Dublin region, and look forward to contributing to Dublin’s recovery. You can find out more about recent policy developments in this newsletter and can check out our recent submissions to Government here.

 

As always, we welcome input from all our members to help shape and inform the Chamber’s policy work. We are always keen to hear from you, whether on the specific issues raised in this newsletter or on any other matter.

 

If you have thoughts or feedback on policy from a business perspective, please get in touch with us by emailing: policy@dublinchamber.ie.