The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD has announced a Budget package to help businesses with escalating energy costs and to plan for the future.
Overall funding allocated to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in Budget 2023 has increased by €36 million, to €940 million.
The Tánaiste said:
“I know that businesses are worried heading into the winter. The cost of energy and of doing business is rising. Interest rates are going up. Consumer confidence is waning.
“We understand the scale of this energy crisis and we are responding to that in Budget 2023, a true Cost of Living Budget.
“This Budget is about putting more money in people’s pockets and reducing the bills that people and businesses have to pay. You can rely on us to back business and jobs to ensure the strong economy required to improve the quality of your life.
“In this Budget we’ve brought forward a package of five new items to help businesses of different sizes across a wide range of sectors to deal with rising energy costs.”
The first of these is the €1.25 billion Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS), providing qualifying businesses with up to 40% of the increase in electricity or gas bills up to €10,000 per month. It will help small businesses most, but also medium and larger businesses. It will be administered by the Revenue Commissioners, backdated to September, and will run until at least February 2023.
The second is a €200 million targeted Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme to assist viable but vulnerable businesses in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors which are suffering the broader effects of the war in Ukraine as well as increasing energy costs. One strand of the scheme will provide up to €2 million in grant aid for energy intensive companies impacted by the exceptionally severe increases in gas and electricity costs. It will be administered through Enterprise Ireland, IDA and Údarás na Gaeltachta and eligible businesses must produce an energy efficiency plan which shows how they will get their energy costs down.
To assist the wider business sector with liquidity and to invest in energy efficiency, we’re introducing a €1.2 billion State-backed Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme. This will provide low-cost working capital to SMEs, primary producers and small mid-caps (businesses with fewer than 500 employees) of up to €1 million, on a six-year term, with no collateral required for loans up to €250,000.
This is in addition to the new Growth & Sustainability Loan Scheme, which will make up to €500 million in low-cost investment loans of up to 10 years available to SMEs, including farmers and fishers and small mid-caps, with no collateral required for loans up to €500,000. A minimum of 30% of the lending volume will be targeted towards Environmental Sustainability purposes.
We’re also giving an additional €4 million in funding to the Local Enterprise Office network to include a new grant for microenterprises for energy efficiency. The Small Firms Investment in Energy Efficiency Scheme will provide a grant to companies to encourage capital investment in projects to reduce carbon emissions.
The Tánaiste added:
“I’m really pleased to see many of our Department’s tax objectives announced by Minister Donohoe today. These will help to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation, as well as helping with the cost of living. The Budget includes a substantial income tax cut, so you can earn up to €40,000 before having to pay any of your income at the higher rate, or up to €80,000 for a two-income couple. The doubling of the Small Benefit exemption means that employers can give up to €1,000 in vouchers or gifts to employees each year. Improvements to the KEEP share option programme should help companies to grow and hold on to staff.
“The extra €36 million for the Department and its agencies, including Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, means we can maintain quick turnaround times on employment permits, help companies with the twin transition, digital and green, and create more jobs in all parts of Ireland.”
Funding for the Department’s Offices and Agencies also increased. A €14.8 million increase in the IDA’s capital funding will ensure that it can accelerate the implementation of its Regional Property Programme and provide for further investment in the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) and Advanced Manufacturing.
Enterprise Ireland’s increased capital allocation includes €12 million for the Climate Transition Fund and the Digital Transition Fund, both of which opened earlier this year and are part of Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).
Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD:
“Budget 2023 contains a number of important and targeted measures to address the challenges facing Irish businesses. Crucially it also recognises the need for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and become more energy efficient.
“For that reason, I very much welcome the additional funding for the Climate and Digital Transition Funds to help business move away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable, cheaper alternatives and to drive transformative digitalisation of enterprise helping them at all stages of their digitalisation journey”, Minister Calleary said.
In addition, €7 million is being provided for the innovation development programmes of Enterprise Ireland and will in part be targeted at the Knowledge Transfer Ireland Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative, the Technology Gateways programme and the European Digital Innovation Hubs.
The increase of €1.5 million for the European Space Agency (ESA) Programme meanwhile will assist Irish companies in securing additional ESA related contracts, helping them to sustain existing jobs and create new ones.
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD said:
“Budget 2023 will assist Irish businesses with the difficulties in the current economic climate, including the changing labour market needs they face. Government recognises this challenging landscape and has provided additional funding for the Department’s Offices and Agencies to deal with it.
“We have increased funding to provide a number of measures to encourage investment in innovation and entrepreneurship. This in turn will ensure that we can continue to support new job creation across the country, especially through the LEO Network and Enterprise Ireland.
“The Health and Safety Authority is well positioned to deal with emerging health and safety challenges in the context of remote working and the increased use of digitisation, while the Workplace Relations Commission will play a vital role in in delivering fair and compliant workplaces.
“We’ve also secured additional funding to meet the increasing demand for work permits. More importantly though we are cutting income tax to put more money into people’s pockets, to make sure work is better rewarded, and to attract more people back to the workforce”, Minister English added.
Note to Editors
Budget 2023 facilitates the funding of new programmes as well as increases the funding to existing programmes, including in the following areas:
- increase the pay allocation of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to enable it to service the increasing demands for work permits as well as continuing to service its expanded programme of policy and legislative initiatives in areas such as climate, digitalisation, employment rights;
- increase the promotional budget of the IDA which is a key element in its Foreign Direct Investment activities;
- meet the increasing cost of World Trade Organisation membership;
- increase the staffing resources of the Workplace Relations Commission;
- increase the resources for the Corporate Enforcement Agency to ensure that it can carry out its role as a robust enforcer of company law;
- provide additional resources to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to ensure that it can carry out its new responsibilities.
The 2023 capital allocation will allow the Department to
- increase the IDA’s capital funding for programmes such as the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) the Advanced Manufacturing Centre and further expand its regional property programme;
- increase funding for Enterprise Ireland’s Climate and Digitalisation Funds;
- increase funding for the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland to expand marketing and development programmes for microenterprises and start-ups in the craft and design sector;
- roll out the new Small Firms Investment in Energy Efficiency Scheme through the Local Enterprise Offices;
- ensure that calls of the Credit Guarantee Scheme can be met and that the Scheme can pivot to assist businesses impacted by the Ukraine crisis;
- increase the funding to the Department’s Science and Technology Programme including by providing additional funding to support the HPSU Equity, TTS and Gateways programmes as well increasing the funding for the European Digital Innovation Hubs;
- increase the funding for the European Space Agency Programme;
- provide funding through the EU’s Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) to fund the Capital Investment Scheme assisting the meat and dairy food processing sectors and other enterprises which continue to adjust to the UK exit from the EU.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.
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