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
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
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.
Irish Economy 2014: Did Ireland add 61,000 jobs in 2013?
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:
- "Cut income
tax: The tax burden is too
high and tax on work is way out of line internationally. The entry point to
the higher marginal tax rate should be increased, and the marginal rate
reduced below 50%. This will put more money into the pockets of Irish
consumers, and ultimately benefit the Exchequer though greater economic
activity and tax revenue.
regulation is sensible, proportionate: Any
new regulation of the sector and the supply chain should not impose extra
costs on retailers. The government should do nothing that would increase
business costs. At the height of the boom many costs, including wages,
spiralled out of control, we cannot allow this to happen again,
- Support the
move online: Provide support
and incentives for Irish retailers to trade online and ensure they benefit
fully from the growing digital economy. At present 75% of online spend goes
to companies without a physical presence here. We need to address this