Tuesday, 11 October 2016Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII), the Ibec group that represents the food and drink sector, today said that measures in the budget including tax reform and increases to the budgets of state agencies are a start in addressing the Brexit challenge, but do not go far enough. More targeted action is needed this year.
FDII Director Paul Kelly said: “Brexit is putting intense strain on food exporters. The economic pressure on the sector could exceed that of previous currency crises. The government needs remedial measures of sufficient scale and ambition to address this. In particular:
· A €25 million fund to support companies maintain their export business in the UK as well as diversifying into new markets
· The reintroduction of the Employment Subsidy Scheme and the Enterprise Stabilisation measures last applied in 2009-2011.
FDII sharply criticised proposals to introduce a tax on sugar sweetened drinks. “Evidence based policy has collapsed in the face of populist and ineffective public health measures. This will cost the Irish consumer dearly with no evident benefits and it is the thin end of the wedge for further damaging discriminatory taxes on the Irish food and drink sector," said Mr Kelly.