Company directors divided on €2bn Budget adjustment
Published 20/06/2014 | 02:30
Irish company directors are almost evenly split over whether or not the Government should go ahead with a full €2bn adjustment in the October Budget.
Up to now, much of the opposition to tough Budgets has come from charities and not-for -profit organisations (NGOs) and the political left.
But influential industry lobby, the Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD), said that Budget 2015 marked "a turning point in terms of the level of tolerance for austerity among directors in Ireland".
Research conducted with members of the institute found that a clear majority (61pc) regarded previous austerity Budgets a "necessary response to address Ireland's economic difficulties".
But the IoD found its members were almost evenly divided on the idea that €2bn should be taken out of the Budget through tax rises and spending cuts.
"With regard to the level of austerity still needed, 48pc (are) of the view that an adjustment of €2bn should be maintained in Budget 2015, while 44pc of those surveyed are calling for a smaller adjustment," the IoD said in a statement to launch its pre-Budget submission.
Directors called for what they called the pillars of Irish life – education, healthcare and employment – to be protected. The lack of housing supply was also raised as a concern.
However, the IoD said it supported the Government's overall approach to achieving a deficit of 3pc of GDP by 2015.
Unsurprisingly, directors are overwhelming in favour of a reduction in income tax.
Of those who want to see tax cuts, four out of five regard raising the level when people start paying at the higher tax rate from €32,800 as the top income tax priority.
Almost four out of five company directors regard the income tax levels here as a barrier to attracting staff.
Most see income tax rates as the top tax threat to competitiveness. Following the local and European elections, 90pc of directors see the stability of the Government as one of the biggest issues facing Ireland.