Local Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith has called for small and medium sized Irish businesses to be given additional supports in a bid to prevent job losses.
Deputy Smith told the Dáil retailers are very concerned about the small business support scheme.
“Retailers state very clearly that the measures proposed in the budget will not be of enough assistance to them to meet rising costs and some of those costs are attributable to Government decisions,” the Cavan-Monaghan TD said.
“The exclusion of businesses paying more than €20,000 in rates is causing particular problems. Those businesses are labour-intensive and energy is a substantial percentage of their overall trading loss. They need to obtain additional Government support to trade profitably and retain existing staffing complements.”
Deputy Smith cited the example of a supermarket owner, who employs 160 people in his constituency and who has told him he will not be able to retain present staffing levels and will be unable to bring on more staff as he had hoped to do.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, in response, said €250 million has been allocated to establish a scheme to help businesses with rising costs and to enable them to retain their staff.
“To put it in context, €250 million is twice the amount claimed under the temporary business energy support scheme this year, so it is a very substantial allocation,” Mr Varadkar said.
He added that Minister Simon Coveney, and the Minister of State Dara Calleary, are working on the detail of the scheme so the money can be paid in the new year.
“We have to draw the line somewhere and the more large or medium-sized businesses we bring into it, the less there will be for the very small businesses. That is something the Minister and Minister of State are working on at the moment,” he added.