Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) has declared this year’s Budget as the 'best in seven years' as it is the first to put money back in the consumer’s pockets.
The retail member organisation believes the positive news will further strengthen consumer sentiment resulting in a better Christmas trading period for the retail industry. REI Deputy Chief Executive Seán Murphy commented: "Budget 2015 comes at a vital time for our domestic economy. Despite many positive indicators, provincial Ireland is still challenged. Therefore moves to raise consumers' disposable income by returning more than €500 million in taxes to workers are welcome and will support the jobs of the 270,000 people currently working in the Retail Industry in Ireland."
Murphy highlighted the more positive aspects of the Budget including he retention of the 9% VAT rate, as well as the introduction of a 25% Christmas bonus for social welfare recipients, which "will have a directly positive impact on local retailers as recipients will spend their money locally."
Murphy also praised the Government’s budget increase for the Department of Justice,as this may provide safer shopping areas. He said, "We call on new recruits to be prioritised for policing urban locations such as Dublin City Centre to ensure that the Gardaí have the resources they need to meet the challenges of policing these areas adequately."
The REI welcomed the fact that there were no tax increases on either alcohol or fuel, but expressed disappointment with the move by Government to increase taxes on cigarettes. Murphy said, “This decision will drive further black market activity in this sector resulting in a loss of revenue for both Retailers and the Government.
"It also ignores the fact that the island of Ireland is one market from a retail perspective. We fear that more consumers will spend their money on these items across the border. Murphy also criticised the Government for not reducing Employers PRSI for Class A employees, but conceded that overall the Budget will support consumption and enhance confidence across the economy."
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson