FDI: Shape Budget 2020 to help food and drink sector amid Brexit

The ABFI has met with a group from the EU to further shore up Ireland and Northern Ireland's exposure after March
FDI has appealed to the government for a fund to offset the threat of tarrifs on goods exported to the UK

With the countdown beginning for Budget 2020, countless industry assocations and lobby groups are set to publish their annual subnissions to government outlining how the budget can and will affect them, and what an ideal outcome for them would be. Food and Drink Ireland has just published its submission to government, warning yet again about the potential effects of Brexit.

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6 August 2019 | 0

Food and Drink Ireland, the Ibec group that represents Ireland’s food and drink sectors, has launched its Budget 2020 submission to government, in which it calls on Fine Gael to introduce measures to help the sector respond to Brexit, whatever form it comes in, and also to support the development of new, indigenous enterprises.

Talking about the proposed measures, FDI director Paul Kelly said that  €4.5 billion worth of food and drink exports go to the UK. “In the event of a no deal Brexit and the immediate imposition of tariffs,” Kelly said, “decisive steps would need to be taken.

“Tariffs are in effect a tax on trade and commerce,” he added. “FDI is calling for their recycling into a tariff stabilisation fund to offset serious damage to exports and job losses.”

“Every Brexit scenario is negative for the sector,” the submission said, “and companies will also need support to diversify products and market focus, innovate both products and processes and re-align their business models to mitigate the impacts of such a market shock. Funds amounting to 5% of the value of current export sales to the UK will be needed annually for three years from domestic and EU sources to help Irish companies innovate, diversify, train staff and invest.”

Meanwhile, FDI’s budget submission also calls for improvements in tax policy to support the development of indigenous enterprise. It outlines 19 improvements to Capital Gains Tax entrepreneur’s relief, the R&D tax credit model, the EIIS scheme and excise relief for certain craft drinks producers.

The budget submission also calls for measures to:

  • Increase funding support for higher education and enterprise led training initiatives including Skillnets and industrial apprenticeships.
  • Unlock growth potential through continued investment in innovation.
  • Controlling the cost of doing business in Ireland with a particular focus on commercial water rates and insurance.

 

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