Quality of Life to be Focus of Budget 2019 says Cork Chamber

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September 17, 2018
Quality of Life to be Focus of Budget 2019 says Cork Chamber

Housing, Public Transport and Childcare among top recommendations to Government

“If Budget 2019 delivers one thing only, it should be measures to increase the supply of accommodation in our cities and town centres”: This is the key message coming from Cork Chamber in its pre-budget recommendations submitted to Government last week.

This comes as Cork Chamber members state housing as their number one budget priority in the latest economic survey.  

Quality of life takes centre stage in the Chamber’s budget submission. More affordable rental accommodation and housing, better public transport and improved supports for working parents are all listed among the top recommendations ahead of budget day.

The Chamber submission also highlights the opportunity for Budget 2019 to improve the competitiveness of Irish business through tax reforms at a time of increasing international protectionism. Specifically, it recommends Government to ease the tax burden on middle income earners, ensure tax equity between PAYE workers and the self-employed, and a reduction in Capital Gains tax to stimulate more investment and indigenous innovation. 

Commenting at the launch of the Chamber’s pre-budget submission, Thomas Mc Hugh, Director of Public Affairs at Cork Chamber, said:

 “We have spent the summer asking business throughout Cork about their needs. The feedback is clear: the supply of housing is now a real concern for business of all sizes and sectors with knock-on impacts on wage demands and the ability to attract and retain talent.” 

“The economy is performing well. New student accommodation is coming on stream as is new office developments. Yet, we urgently need delivery of new urban apartments suited for both families and young professionals. If Budget 2019 delivers one thing only, it should be measures to increase the supply of accommodation in our city and town centres.” 

In addition, the submission emphasises the potential for increasing public transport and sustainable commuting in Cork: “Only 8.5% of commuters in Cork City and suburbs use public transport to get to and from work. To grow the modal share of sustainable transport as our population grows, we call on Government to restore investment in public transport corridors, cycling and walking networks, and the ongoing development of road and rail across Metropolitan Cork.”

“With Ireland returning to full employment we also believe there is huge untapped opportunity in increasing labour market participation by reducing childcare cost of, which will bring further diversity in the workforce and should be a key budget focus”, Mr. Mc Hugh concluded.
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