Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII), the Ibec group that represents the food sector, has released it's pre-Budget 2017 submission, in which it stresses that the government must help the food sector maintain competitiveness in UK and domestic markets following Brexit.
The submission also states that the Government must show more ambition in tax schemes which support SME growth, increase funding for enterprise led training and up-skilling and avoid discriminatory taxes of food and beverage products.
FDII Director Paul Kelly said: “41% of our food and drink exports go to the UK (€4.4bn) and our industry is beginning to be severely impacted by exchange rate exposure. Budget 2017 must support industry efforts to maintain our markets in the UK as well as ensuring that in the domestic market, food companies remain competitive against imports and the threat of cross-border shopping.
"To do this we need to stay competitive and keep business costs under control. At a time of such uncertainty government also needs to avoid ill-considered public health measures such as soft drink taxes and focus instead on supporting industry efforts in product innovation and workplace wellbeing.”
The FDII submission also calls for several other measures, including: Tax measures to support SME growth and innovation and ensure level playing field with UK; A seed enterprise investment scheme; Capital Gains Tax relief for entrepreneurs; An improved R&D tax credit model; Increased funding for enterprise led training and up-skilling initiatives; No additional tax on soft drinks; Supports for a competitive dairy sector, and support for 5 a day fruit and vegetable at work scheme.
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