Budget 2018 funding needed to protect Irish businesses exposed to Brexit – Gallagher

Funding allocated to enterprise agencies just isn’t enough to protect Irish exporters and businesses from the threats posed by Brexit according to Senator Robbie Gallagher who has joined his party colleagues in calling for additional funding to be allocated to enterprise agencies in Budget 2018.

“Recently, we welcomed the announcement of €6.7m in additional funding to Bord Bia for increased market access measures. This vindicated the vocal campaign by Fianna Fail on the issue over the last number of months. However, enterprise agencies also clearly need extra funding to help exporters and businesses overcome the threats associated with Brexit. We need to see an equivalent increase in funding for the likes of Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and Intertrade Ireland. We know that businesses and exporters across the country are threatened by Brexit and that our local employers and indigenous industries are particularly exposed,” said Senator Gallagher.

“Since the Brexit referendum, we have been calling for increased funding for state agencies to allow them assist Irish businesses in reducing their exposure to the UK by helping them enter into new markets,”

“Last year only €3m in additional funding was allocated to the Department of Enterprise and its agencies to assist in responding to the challenges posed by Brexit. This funding was spread between agencies such as Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, Science Foundation Ireland and the Health and Safety Authority. The funding only allowed for 50 additional staff to be recruited in total and while many of these positions have been filled, not enough is being done to put structures in place to safeguard Irish export businesses exposed to Brexit,” he added.

“A recent survey of 600 Enterprise Ireland client companies found that in the last six months, just 38% have taken measures to respond to Brexit, with 62% having taken no action to date. A significant increase in state agency supports and funding is clearly needed. Substantial increased funding for enterprise agencies in Budget 2018 is required,” concluded Senator Gallagher.

 

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