Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group representing the food and drink sector, has today published its Budget 2022 Submission (see attached) which calls for substantial funding for the sector from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.
Paul Kelly, FDI Director said, “The food and drink sector is deeply resilient but now faces major disruption to its markets from Brexit while still contending with the impact of a global pandemic.
"The EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement has introduced significant additional costs for Irish food and drink companies at each step of production and distribution," he said.
"In addition to Brexit related transport and logistics cost hikes, Irish food and drink businesses are also experiencing inflationary pressures across most cost headings due to a combination of macro external factors which include global and domestic supply chain constraints and raw material inputs as well as Brexit and COVID-19.
“FDI’s Budget 2022 recommendations are framed to ensure that Ireland’s most important indigenous manufacturing sector can control its cost base whilst also innovating and improving both productivity and sustainability," he added.
These state aid supports and funds from Ireland’s €1 billion allocation from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve should be targeted as follows:
- Introduce a State-supported export credit insurance scheme.
- Invest €300 million in competitiveness and trade promotion.
- Keep the EWSS and grant support under review including for those significantly impacted by Brexit.
- Extend the Revenue Warehousing Scheme to Brexit impacted companies.
- Extend the Foreign Earnings Deduction to more markets.
- Extend and re-finance the ‘Ready for Customs’ grant scheme.
Other recommendation in the FDI Budget 2022 submission include:
- Provide an additional €400m to drive low carbon investment in industry by scaling up and expanding industry supports.
- Reduce alcohol excise rates by 7.5%, introduce a new craft cider excise exemption scheme and allow alcohol excise on bad debts to be written off.
- Revamp the commercial rates exemption scheme to incentivise food business operators and cold storage companies, as occupiers of commercial property, to carry out much needed maintenance, improvements and retrofitting or energy saving investments.
- The ongoing review of the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) should amend the scheme so as to enhance its support for start-ups in the Irish whiskey / spirits sector.