Budget 2022: The Grocery Retail Industry Responds
Following the range of key measures announced at Budget 2022, here is how the grocery retail industry has responded.
In a statement, Daniel Emmerson, chairperson of Cider Ireland and chief executive of Nohoval Drinks Company, producers of Stonewell Cider said, "While Cider Ireland welcome the Government’s commitment to reducing excise duty for small producers of craft cider by 50% next year, it is very regrettable that we must wait another year before being afforded the same treatment as craft beer. The year is a further, unjustifiable delay on the new jobs, tourism, exports and carbon-busting new orchards that will emerge all around rural Ireland once the 50% reduction in duty is implemented. We, and the communities we are part of, deserve a level playing field."
Retail Excellence, the largest representative body for the retail industry in Ireland, has said that is clear this is “not a Budget for business” and has warned that more needs to be done to assist small retailers as we emerge from the pandemic. Speaking with RTÉ today, Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence, commented, “This is not a Budget for business. While we welcome support from the Government in the form of an extension of wage supports until April as well as measures to tackle the increasing cost of living, we are disappointed that we have not seen additional supports such as online grants for businesses, particularly those with fewer than ten employees who are in greatest need of assistance."
Drinks Ireland|Cider, the representative group for Ireland’s cider producers within Ibec, has welcomed news that the Minister for Finance has announced the introduction of an excise relief programme of up to 50% for independent small producers of cider and other fermented beverages. The announcement was made in the Minister’s budget speech where he stated that his officials will work with the cider sector to allow for the implementation of this relief in next year’s Finance Bill. Seamus O’Hara, the chair of Drinks Ireland|Cider and founder and CEO of Carlow Brewing Company, which produces a range of cider brands including Falling Apple and Craigies said, “There are at least a dozen craft cider producers scattered across Ireland that will benefit greatly with this reduction, enabling further investment, job creation and innovation. The move will benefit the wider cider sector by allowing expansion of, and greater consumer interest in, the category. It will also result in downstream benefits to the wider economy, particularly in retail, hospitality, and tourism."
Food Drink Ireland
Food Drink Ireland, the Ibec group representing the food and drink sector, has welcomed the Brexit Adjustment Reserve allocation of €500 million for 2022 and a similar amount for 2023 in Budget 2022. Paul Kelly, FDI Director said, “As the sector most affected by Brexit, funding must be made available quickly to support food and drink companies to address the additional costs of trading with Great Britain as well as investments in innovation and market diversification”. Kelly also welcomed the €4million allocation to establish the National Food Ombudsman and said the objective must now be effective and efficient enforcement of unfair trading practices legislation.
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, welcomed the extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme into next year in Budget 2022. The group said that while much of the retail sector was bouncing back, it would be a long road to recovery for many businesses. In key retail districts footfall has yet to fully recover and businesses remain in survival mode. Retail Ireland director Arnold Dillon said, “Labour shortages are now an acute challenge for many retailers. The high cost of housing and childcare is making Ireland a less attractive place to live and work. Increasing the allocation of money for quality housing and childcare is crucial, but so too is accelerating the delivery.“Additional funds to support the development of vibrant town centres and address dereliction are vital to help create vibrant town and city centres into the future. In the immediate term, additional money for Gardaí to tackle anti-social behaviour is welcome. The pandemic has seen many of our key urban centres being neglected. These areas need a refresh and a relaunch.”
Commenting on Budget 2022, Brian Cooke, SIMI director general said, “Budget 2022 is a mixed bag for the Motor Industry and the motorist. The increases in VRT on the back of COVID, Brexit, increased fuel taxes and the dramatic VRT changes in last year’s Budget are hugely disappointing. These increases only add to the already heavy tax burden on new cars, and will serve to slow down the renewal of the fleet, acting as a barrier to reducing emissions. The SIMI welcomes the continuation of VRT relief for Electric Vehicles out to 2023. This brings a degree of certainty to both consumers and the Industry on the vital Electric Vehicle Project and will help increase EV sales over the next two years. The 0% Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) has proved a real success in encouraging EV sales, and while its extension is positive, the tapering of this relief is too early, and should not commence until after 2025.”