Latest Policy Initiatives
The Chamber has continued to work with key Government policy makers, agencies and all stakeholders to ensure that the business environment remains as attractive as possible to US investment here. This has included an approach to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Innovation to call for a direct flight link between Ireland and California; a letter to the Minister for Transport on issues affecting the North West Region; and most crucially securing assurances from the Minister for Finance in international media on the status of Ireland's Corporation Tax rate.
Pre Budget Submission 2011
At a time when the reputation of Ireland's brand is under intense scrutiny by the international business community, the 2011 budget and the Government's four year budgetary strategy presents decisive opportunity to demonstrate resolute commitment to stabilising the countries fiscal imbalances and retuning the economy for growth again. In its annual submission to the Department of Finance the American Chamber stresses that to provide sustainable employment opportunities, Ireland's competitiveness needs to have equal footing alongside fiscal consolidation as a key parameter in framing the 2011 Budget.
The Chamber is calling upon the Budget to demonstrate the Government's:
1 Continued commitment to sustaining Ireland's competitive-corporation tax rate regime with its headline rate of 12.5%
2 Determination to support the retention and growth of current foreign direct investment (FDI) mandates and jobs
3 Ability to restore competitiveness and show resolve to address Ireland's fiscal deficit and the stability of its Banking sector in a credible manner.
4 Understanding of, and commitment to addressing the scale of labour market activation required to retain and develop a skills base as the foundation for future investment/economic growth.
5 Resolve that the State needs to be more productive with limited resources.
Ireland urgently needs to accelerate its progress in returning to competitiveness and must support that with budgetary and investment decisions to improve the productivity of the traded sector. Complimentary to this strategy is the maintenance of a flexible, enterprise and investment friendly environment, with a pool of relevant skills supported by the required physical and communications infrastructure. Given a competitive cost base, the American Chamber stated a belief that there is significant opportunity creating enterprise and jobs in high-value, export-led sectors making use of research, science and technology with the appropriate incentives.
Assurances on Tax Received
The American Chamber reacted strongly to the comments of Commissioner Ollie Rehn and called on Government to categorically rule out any increase in Ireland's corporation tax rates.
At a time when the economy is in deep recession, nothing which would impact on the continued investment in Ireland by our existing base of multinationals, or would deter new investment in Ireland can be countenanced. As a result of this the Department of Finance confirmed that there would be no increase to the Corporation Tax rate, doing so in International media to restore confidence to the investment environment.
North West Access
The American Chamber has contacted the Minister of Transport Noel Dempsey TD, to stress the importance of the PSO flight route between Derry and Dublin. While due to budgetary reasons some of PSO routes are likely to come into question in 2011, the Chamber believes that the route between Dublin and the fourth largest city on the island is of particular importance. It was stressed that the road infrastructure made this route much more valuable to the community as a whole, than the Dublin-Donegal route, also supported under the PSO scheme.
Ireland- California Direct Flight
The Chamber has indicated its support for the ILTG campaign to secure a direct flight link between Ireland and the West Coast of the US. California is a prime source of investment, as Ireland has developed itself as a digital hub supporting the firms of the Silicon Valley. Over fifty major Californian companies operate in Ireland, and currently employ an estimated 20,000 directly. One key factor for businesses making decisions on investment locations is international connectivity. This includes the ability for key executives to travel to their corporate headquarters in an easy and time efficient manner. Given the significant cohort of Californian companies operating in Ireland, it is a competitive disadvantage for Ireland inc. that currently this does not exist a direct flight from anywhere in Ireland to anywhere in the West Coast of the US.