Retail Ireland publishes Budget 2016 recommendations

Christmas sales results are expected later this month
Christmas sales results are expected later this month

Retail Ireland, the IBEC group that represents retailers across the country, has published its list of recommendations for the Government ahead of Budget 2016

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18 August 2015 | 0

Budget 2016 is less than 8 weeks away now, and it’s that time of year when political, commerical and social organisations and bodies begin lobbying the Minister for Finance with their thoughts, expectations and in some cases demands for how they believe the State should spend its (i.e. our) money over the next twelve months and beyond.

Today, Retail Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the retail sector, published its Budget 2016 submission, in which it sets out the current trends within the sector and its recommendations for ways the government can aid in the ongoing economic recovery with this year’s Budget. The annual announcement will be made in a speech by Michael Noonan TD on 13th October.

In its recommendations to the Minister, Retail Ireland  called on the Government to

  • Reduce the tax burden on consumers by reducing the marginal rate of tax by 1% and increasing the entry point by €1,500, with a corresponding increase for married couples. The objective of this change will increase spending power across the economy, the report says.
  • Encourage businesses to take on more staff by reducing employer PRSI rates. This is particularly important given the recent recommendation by the Low Pay Commission to increase the national minimum wage by 50c. Without a drop in PRSI rates, Retail Ireland’s report says, a rise in minimum wage will heap additional pressure on retailers who have only just gotten their costs under control.
  • Make it easier for retailers to succeed online by allowing retailers to offset costs of web development against their VAT costs.
  • Support town and city centres with a pilot scheme that would provide centres access to regeration and development funds. A new role of Town Manager could be created to oversee development of retail and commercial centres.

Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke reminded that retail sales were up 2.3% in the year to June 2015, 2.8% ahead of the same period last year. “However,” he added, “levels are still a full 14 per cent behind pre-crash level.

“A full recovery is still a long way off,” he added, “and future success is contingent on Government making the right budgetary and policy decisions now.”

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