Chambers Ireland, the voice of business throughout Ireland calls for Budget 2024 to be focused on our long-term challenges.

For the first time in five years, Government will be creating their budget without being under the shadow of an immediate impending crisis. Ireland has, since Brexit, been navigating an uncertain world with un-anticipatable crises impacting us in successive years.

At last, Budget 2024, is being drafted during a period of relative calm. Government parties and ministers need to use this opportunity to cement the gains that we have made and prepare for both the uncertain years we have before us and the impact of our population growth on infrastructure and services.

Having successfully weathered so many crises, we are in an era of unprecedented tax revenues which are largely a result of the unique mix of businesses based on this island. This windfall must not be squandered, and excess funds need to be locked into a special purpose fund that will ensure that the capital we need to make good on our infrastructural deficits is consistently available when needed.

Our tax base needs to be made more resilient, both through the broadening of the tax bands and the strengthening of our domestic economy.

Speaking at the launch of Chambers Ireland’s Pre-Budget Submission, Chief Executive Ian Talbot said:

“Our members are extremely concerned about the infrastructure gap which is lowering the quality of life that is available to people working in Ireland. The challenges of recruiting and retaining staff is lowering our competitiveness and damaging our reputation internationally.

“Covid, Brexit, and inflation have all delayed the closing of the gap which is the result of the post-crash decade of under-investment. The economic problems our members are experiencing today are all problems of capacity; much of our energy, transport, housing, health, and water networks are operating at or beyond their projected utility. The recent census results underline how important it is that our ambitious plans are delivered in a timely manner, or we will continue to play catch-up.

“In 2024 we will be more than halfway towards the Sustainable Development Goals deadline of 2030. It is clear that we are not delivering on these goals to our fullest extent, too many government policy decisions continue to be made in silos, with a lack of government wide co-ordination of activities undermining our progress. It is clear that incremental responses by agencies and departments to our national level problems needs to stop; bolder decision making across Government is the only way that we will outpace the problems around our housing, our town centres, and our climate impact.”