Ibec lobby group urges the government to provide extra support to businesses
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Ibec, a business lobby group, has called upon the government to offer extra support to businesses within the “Experience Economy.” The lobby group wants this to be done under Budget 2023.
Ibec urges the government to offer extra support to businesses
The “Experience Economy” has been classified as one that includes businesses and sectors such as hospitality, retail, and tourism, among others. These businesses offer experiences to visitors. It also includes ancillary suppliers and contractors that link with the food and drink sector.
In the announcement, Ibec said the strategic steps needed to support the experience economy. The economy would need support amid increasing energy costs, the revitalization of city centers, and the slowing down of the existing supports needed for COVID-19.
The organization has also said it placed belief on the Brexit Adjustment Reserve. The Reserve totaled 600 million euros in 2023. The lobby group believes that the Reserve should be used to provide proof for these sectors in the future. These sectors were at the receiving end of the effects caused by Brexit. Half of the reserves should also go towards investments, skills, and trade for the businesses affected by Brexit.
One of the demands Ibec has is that the 9% VAT rate should be continued and made permanent. If this is not done, the lobby group says it will trigger a 0.5% rise in inflation in 2023.
The Ibec is also advocating a 20 million euro increase in funding to support overseas tourist promotion. It also wants to ensure that the dent is continuously reviewed to guarantee that the growth of viable businesses is not affected by excess debt emanating from struggling firms.
Supporting the economy after COVID-19 and Brexit
Sharon Higgins, the executive director of Membership and Sectors at Ibec, commented on the development, saying, “Embedding competitiveness is critical to building resilience in businesses across the economy as the global trading environment continues to shift in the aftermath of Covid and Brexit.”
Higgins added that Ibec believed in the need to offer direct support for the households and industries most vulnerable to rising energy costs. One of the recommendations offered is for the fiscal policy to be flexible during the winter and in 2023 if the ongoing rise in inflation persists.
Higgins also said that budget 2023 needed to support continued investment and support to support the Experience Economy by providing the funding needed to support activities such as tourism, events, festivals, and conferences and provide improvements for the public realm. There was also a renewed focus on towns and cities after the Covid era.
The experience economy employed around 330,000 people before the Covid-19 pandemic after buying more than 4 billion euros yearly worth of goods and services. Before the pandemic, it also offered around 4.5 billion euros worth of wages, salaries, and employment taxes.