Budget measures to aid Clare’s Continuing Recovery – BREEN

October 16th, 2014 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen T.D. has said today (Wednesday) that the measures contained in Budget 2015 will aid Clare’s continuing economic recovery.

Low and middle income earners, the housing market, tourism, the agri-sector, education and families have all been helped in yesterday’s budget.

This Budget is very much focused on supporting job creation and growth and encouraging consumer confidence.

“The retention of the 9% VAT rate for the tourism sector is particularly welcome. The introduction of this rate in 2011 has been credited with the creation of 547 jobs in Clare’s Tourism Industry since then and keeping the rate at this level is important to build on the growth which tourism providers in the County have experienced this year. Shannon Airports return to growth is also contributing to the Clare’s positive tourism Figures. The latest traffic figures from Shannon Airport show that their growth rates are being maintained into August and September 2014 and with the indications from the Airlines in relation to increased services and capacity in their 2015 Schedules and the impact of the Wild Atlantic Way, the prospects for further job creation in the Industry next year is very positive.

Raising the Threshold for the top rate of tax to almost €34,000 will help thousands of people to have a secure income, while cutting the top rate to 40% will help ease the burden on hard working families and boost consumer confidence and will help to maintain local businesses in Towns like Kilrush, Ennistymon, Ennis and Shannon.

I also welcome the fact that there will be no reduction in the pupil teacher ratio, no increase in class size, that 1,700 new full time education posts will be made available and that further investment will be made in our School Buildings.

I am also particularly pleased to see €2.2bn made available for Garda resources and that 400 new Garda Vehicles will be coming on stream in 2015. These vehicles will be extremely important in tackling crime in rural areas.

Farming is one of our largest indigenous industries and here in Clare the Industry supports thousands of jobs in our rural economy, directly and indirectly in the food and drink processing and the Value of Agricultural Exports arising from the agricultural output in this County is worth in the region of €273.0 m. Budget 2014 includes a comprehensive package of measures to encourage young farmers into the Industry such as increase in income thresholds for relief from leasing income by 50% and reliving stamp duty on long-term leases (5 years of more) for agricultural land as well as targeting of agricultural relief from Capital Acquisitions Tax to qualified or full-time farmers to those who lease land out on a long term basis.

Construction workers have borne the brunt of the recession and in to bolster recovery in this Section we have extended the Home Renovation Scheme to include rental properties and we are significantly increasing the provision of social housing with a view to providing 10,000 social housing units by 2018.

This economy is recovering and the country is moving in the right direction. The Irish people have made huge sacrifices to get this country to this point. The overriding aim of this Budget is to secure and solidify the economic recovery and these budget measures will make an enormous contribution to aiding Clare’s economic recovery which will help to ensure that the people of County Clare will see improvements in their daily lives.”