Executives think plan can deliver
Nearly three-quarters of senior business executives believe that the Government's tough four-year austerity plan is credible in terms of achieving the €15bn in cuts and tax increases needed to restore stability to the economy.
A survey of 400 executives at a PricewaterhouseCoopers event in Dublin yesterday found that 70pc of them agreed the plan is credible. Just 12pc thought the plan won't deliver, while the remainder were neutral. Over half, 55pc, think the plan, which will include a cut in the minimum wage, will improve Irish competitiveness. A further 40pc believe it will help to support employment.
However, 36pc of the respondents aren't sure whether the plan will create long-term economic growth. Just over a third, 36pc, were neutral, while 34pc agreed and 30pc disagreed.
"Given the scale of the negativity surrounding Ireland in recent weeks the results are probably more positive that might have been expected," said PwC's head of tax and legal services, Colm Kelly.
"The enhanced certainty if the 12.5pc corporate tax rate is retained would be a significantly positive development and needs to be strongly communicated to the international investment community," he added.
Business leaders including representatives from IBEC as well as unions met officials from the IMF, the ECB and the EU yesterday in what was described as "engaged" and "frank" discussions by ICTU general secretary David Begg.