10 October 2023 – County Kildare Chamber, the voice of business in Kildare has expressed its cautious optimism for today’s Budget 2024 initiatives. The range of business schemes, introduction of an Infrastructure, Climate and Nature Fund and increased investment in childcare are all to be welcomed.

Today the government introduced a number of expansionary budget supports for businesses, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to try and ensure they sustain challenges on a number of fronts, including the rise of minimum wage, pressure from new sick leave legislation and auto pension enrolment.

Allan Shine, CEO of County Kildare Chamber, emphasised the significance of these initiatives for SMEs. “While foreign direct investment is so important to our country, so too are the private indigenous small, medium, and large companies that are the lifeblood of our economy. We therefore need to ensure we always have the right structures in place to encourage and support these companies.”

Key highlights of the budget include an increase in the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit, the introduction of a new Capital Gains Tax (CGT) relief for angel investors and a new scheme announced today the Increased Cost of Business Scheme (ICOB), which will be awarded based on a percentage of commercial rates a SME paid in 2023.

However, Sinéad Ronan, Public Affairs Manager cautioned, “These measures particularly the ICOB if they are to be utilised to their full potential by businesses need to be carefully structured. This is to ensure the problems faced by businesses seeking the Temporary Business Support Scheme (TBESS) are not repeated.

In Budget 2023, the government announced the €1.25 billion TBESS, as of 13 September 2023 a mere €121.52 million or less than 10% of the fund had been paid down. Government will need to be open to reviewing and revising the scale and eligibility of this new scheme as it is rolled out over the next number of weeks and months, to ensure the maximum number of businesses are able to avail of it.”

County Kildare Chamber in its Pre-Budget submission called for the establishment of an independent state agency charged with the medium/long term strategic and infrastructure planning and policy within Ireland. In a survey of our membership, over a quarter of our businesses stated lack of infrastructure development was hindering the competitiveness of Kildare and the region.

The announcement today of the Infrastructure, Climate and Nature Fund is to be greatly welcomed. This fund will see a total of €14 billion to be set aside by 2030 to allow for continued levels of investment in capital projects, not reliant on economic performance in the years ahead. This will provide certainty to businesses by ringfencing spending for key infrastructure such as housing, healthcare, transport and renewable development.

Mr Shine continued “We are pleased to see the Government setting aside a fund of €14 billion specifically to be focused on the delivery of infrastructure. The provision of this fund is prudent, especially with the uncertainty still being seen regarding inflation, energy costs and global challenges.

However, we have seen promised investment spending before from government. If this future proofing is to be successful and truly provide security to our business community, the emphasis must be on front loading of delivery for these capital investments and development”.

County Kildare Chamber remains optimistic about the future and is committed to working closely will the government and other stakeholders to ensure the successful and thriving business environment in Kildare and the Mid-East region.



County Kildare Chamber’s submission on Budget 2024, is available here on the Chamber website, along with other recent submissions.