6th December 2021

Businesses need legislative certainty on Covid-19 supports before Dáil Christmas recess

Chambers Ireland, the voice of business throughout Ireland, is concerned about the challenges businesses are experiencing due to coronavirus uncertainties.

In light of the reintroduction of restrictions, it is clear that we are not in the recovery scenario that underpinned Government decision-making regarding Covid-19, and Budget 2022.

However, above-profile Exchequer returns demonstrate how fortunate we are that the parts of our economy which continue functioning under restrictions are maintaining employment and sustaining the income of their workers.

The clearest signal that a business is struggling is not the sector they are involved in but the devastating effect that Covid-19 has had to their business model and their revenue.

That decline in revenue, against historical profile, should be what is used to assess where help is needed as business supports are reintroduced. Previous attempts at finessing which businesses could get supports saw large numbers of vulnerable businesses excluded, often for months, only for Government to respond much later with further legislation. This delay in receiving supports caused unnecessary harm to those businesses and the people who worked there.

Chambers Ireland continues to call on government to introduce multiple scenario contingency planning. Businesses need to have foresight of what the Government responses will be should our Covid-19 levels not improve, and also what to expect if they disimprove.

Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, Ian Talbot, said: “We are not where we hoped we would be with Covid-19 even three months ago. All of us; Government, business, and society, are struggling to manage that uncertainty. Government can however reduce some of that uncertainty if they can give clarity to businesses about what we can expect if the New Year is challenging.

Darragh McAllister, President, Ennis Chamber added, “With the Dáil going into recess on December 16, there is now limited scope for making legislative changes to supports like the EWSS. This must be clarified in the coming week.”

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