Businesses ‘still unsure about Budget’

Many businesses in Ireland are uncertain about the new environmental measures introduced in the recent Budget, a poll has revealed.

New data released by the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME), an independent business organisation, showed that 68% of firms in the country were satisfied overall with the environmental changes put in place in the Budget, which was unveiled earlier this month.

At the time, the ISME said that businesses were particularly happy with plans to introduce tax incentives to encourage SMEs to invest in alternative energy products.

However, the new study found that 41% of small firms now think that proposed plans to increase vehicle registration tax (VRT) and motor tax would have a negative impact on their enterprise.

“At a point in our economic cycle when businesses need encouragement and an impetus to compete internationally, very little was done to assist smaller companies develop and expand,” commented ISME chief executive Mark Fielding.

When the Budget was released, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and local Government John Gormley praised its environmental credentials.

He explained that it marked “the beginning of a new era” and added: “It is an era in which climate change moves to the heart of Government decision-making.

“It puts our responsibilities to tackle climate change on an equal footing with our responsibilities to manage the economy.”

James Cooper

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