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Dublin Chamber calls on Government to double funding for housing construction

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By Chamber Press Office, 10 August 2021

Dublin Chamber calls on Government to double funding for housing construction
+ Pre-budget submission also calls for a lower tax rate on investments in SMEs 

Today (Tuesday 10th August) business group Dublin Chamber has called on Government to double public investment in the construction of new homes in Dublin and other cities next year. It has also called for a lower tax rate on investments in Irish SMEs to boost the growth of indigenous enterprise, and the introduction of new measures to help businesses ‘go green’.

Speaking as Dublin Chamber’s pre-budget submission was launched, Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke said: “Housing is now the top concern for 71% of businesses in Dublin. The availability and affordability of housing remains the most immediate threat to cost competitiveness in the Greater Dublin Area. This also poses a challenge to maintaining our FDI competitiveness in the future. We are calling on the Government to double public capital investment in housing, targeted in urban areas to deliver accommodation at appropriate densities and ease pressure on the private market.”

“To tackle the housing crisis, the State needs to play a central role rather than a merely supplementary one. Social housing policy needs to shift definitively from reliance on acquisition and rental support to the construction of purpose-built affordable homes on a large scale. The Government should take advantage of the positive borrowing environment and double investment in housing to €4 billion in 2022.” Mary Rose Burke said.

The Chamber’s intervention on housing follows similar advice from the ESRI earlier this summer, and recent Dublin Chamber survey results showing that housing, infrastructure, and traffic congestion rank as the top three concerns for Dublin businesses other than Covid-19.

Lower Tax Rate Recommended for SME Investments

Dublin Chamber has also advised the Government to introduce a new 20% rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on investments in small and medium enterprises. It said that growing Ireland’s indigenous business base will require greater investment in SMEs, but that our present tax regime incentivises investment in larger corporations which are considered a safer bet.

Mary Rose Burke said: “Ireland’s CGT rate is the third-highest in Europe at 33%. It makes no distinction between high-risk investment in an Irish start-up and passive investment in a ‘blue chip’ firm. Effectively, there is a disincentive when it comes to investing in a less established company. We need to reverse this dynamic. If we want to grow our indigenous enterprise base, we need to reward those who take a risk on a new Irish business."

Dublin Chamber's pre-budget submission also calls for the introduction of a 'Going Green' tax credit, modelled on the R&D tax credit, to encourage the adoption of sustainable business practices. Suggested qualifying practices include retrofit and energy efficiency measures; waste management practices; circular economy measures; and the adoption of low-emissions transport.

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Dublin Chamber Pre-Budget Submission

Dublin Chamber's Submission on Budget 2022 is available to read in full here on the Dublin Chamber website. The Chamber’s four priority recommendations are:

  1. Double public capital investment in housing, targeted in urban areas to deliver appropriate accommodation and ease pressure on the private market.
  2. Introduce a 20% Capital Gains tax rate on disposals of investments in SMEs to boost investment in Irish enterprise.
  3. Introduce a ‘Going Green’ Tax Credit to encourage adoption of sustainable business practices, accelerating the carbon tax timeline if needs so require.
  4. Continue a gradual withdrawal of the EWSS and other Covid-19 supports for SMEs with a schedule of reductions to allow for financial planning.
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