Retail Ireland, a unit of Ibec, the principal Irish business lobby group, in advance of a conference in Dublin today, has called for income tax cuts to "kick-start growth" and it claimed that the sector has the potential of creating 40,000 new jobs in the sector in coming years.
According to the CSO, there were 138,000 employed in 'Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles' at end 2013 - - a week hardly passes without some group claiming how thousands of jobs could be magiced up if the Government does x or y for them.
Ignoring this nonsense, what is interesting is the claimed need for tax cuts, which suggests that the 2013 jobs added of 61,000 coupled with expectations of about 50,000 jobs this year, are not expected to have much of an impact on spending.
Of course, demanding tax cuts is seen as a substitute to raising pay levels.Retail Ireland today said that 2014 would see the start of a meaningful recovery in the sector. "Despite somewhat disappointing Q1 retail figures, there are signs that many consumers are returning to the shops after a long hiatus." The group predicted that this will lead to consumer spending growth of nearly 2% this year.
The conference, which will be opened by Enda Kenny, taoiseach, who will hear that the sector has the potential to create 40,000 new jobs over the coming years, if the conditions are right.
The lobby group says that recent retail sales figures have shown that while the volume of sales (excluding cars and bars) has increased by 2.2% in the past year, the values of sales has stayed the same. This clearly indicates that shops are aggressive discounting in an effort to attract customers. The pressure on the sector remains. To address the key challenges that still face the sector, Retail Ireland called on government to:
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