Representatives of the food and beverage sector have called for budget funding to help the sector increase manufacturing.
Ibec The Food Drink Ireland (FDI) group said high costs had put pressure on manufacturers and urged the government to invest funds from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve in the sector.
“While manufacturers have been able to achieve some cost recovery in the market, this is far from cost inflation, as evidenced by massive increases in energy and raw material costs from the lower level of the industry. ‘food inflation recorded in the consumer price index,’ the FDI director said. Paul Kelly.
Mr Kelly said the food and drink sector is “deeply resilient” but is struggling with economic headwinds such as global and domestic supply chain constraints and the war in Ukraine , as well as Brexit and Covid-19.
The Irish food and drink sector performed well in 2021 with exports up 4% to €13.5 billion. The group said that if growth continues this year, the industry faces “severe and unprecedented inflationary pressures”.
The FDI has urged the government to increase its capital investment program to “well beyond” 100 million euros and to extend it to all sectors of food and drink manufacturing. The group also asked the government to reduce excise duties on alcoholic products by at least 50 million euros.
In his pre-budget submissionthe lobby group has called on the government to make the 9% VAT rate for hospitality permanent.
The VAT rate is set to return to its pre-pandemic rate of 13.5% early next year, a move that has drawn widespread backlash from tourism industry players.
The chief executive of the Irish Confederation of the Tourism Industry, Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, recently said that many industry workers saw the planned rise in the VAT rate as damaging to competitiveness and likely to hamper recovery. of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and largest regional employer.