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Tag Archives: Brexit

Ibec concern for agri-food sector

Speaking after the UK triggered Article 50, Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group representing the food and drink sector, today (Wednesday) called for agri-food to be a top priority for the Irish Government in the forthcoming negotiations. Paul Kelly, director of Food Drink Ireland, said, “The agri-food sector exports €4.1bn of food and drink to the UK and accounts for 43,000 Irish jobs, Agri-food is the Irish sector most exposed to trade disruption, and the Irish Government must do all within its control to ensure minimum impact to the free flow of goods. Discussions on the future EU-UK relationship must be commenced early in the negotiating process and must ensure: Free and unfettered access to the UK market for Irish business. An agreement that takes account of the special case of the all-island economy, ensuring that the highly integrated supply chains can continue to operate with free movement of goods and services, Transitional arrangements, of sufficient length, for businesses …

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Retail sales on the rise

Retail Excellence, the largest retail industry representative body, has welcomed the 3.3% annualised increase in value in retail sales. Today (Tuesday) the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published its February 2017 retail sales index, which showed that, although the volume of non-motor retail sales rose by 1.2% compared to January 2017, the value of these annualised sales increased by 3.3%. Lorraine Higgins, of Retail Excellence, said, “We welcome this figure and the upward trend but would warn against being too optimistic. We have been contacted by many members in recent days who are experiencing very negative trading conditions. Some retailers are reporting like for like declines of upwards of 30% against March 2016”. “It is clear that consumer sentiment has been negatively impacted due to concerns about the impact of Brexit. The primary income in over 100,000 homes comes from a company which is dependent of export to the UK market (agri, food, drink). We also believe that there has been …

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Get your passport on time

Clare holiday makers and those planning any trip abroad, have been advised to apply for a passport well in advance of travel. Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen said, “I have had numerous calls to my constituency office in Ennis from people who are waiting weeks for a new passport, with many fearing they will not have their passport returned in time to travel. My advice therefore is to apply for your passport as early as possible.” “However, if you are travelling for business, even personal business, and require a passport within 15 to 20 days it is advisable to avail of the Passport Appointments Service rather than the Passport Express System,” he said. There has been an unprecedented number of applications for Irish passports since the vote on Brexit. According to figures revealed by the Department of Foreign Affairs there has been a 72% increase in applications from Northern Ireland and a 70% increase from Great Britain …

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Clare farmers to gain from ‘Cashflow’ scheme

There is good news for Clare farmers today (Tuesday) as Agriculture Minister Michael Creed unveiled the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme. The Scheme was developed in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), which has confirmed that AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank will distribute the loans, making €150 million available to farmers throughout Ireland at low-cost interest rate of 2.95%. This is supported by €25 million being provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, including €11 million in EU exceptional adjustment aid. “One of my priorities is to address the impact of the change in the sterling exchange rate and lower commodity prices in some sectors which have caused cash flow difficulties for farmers. “This innovative loan scheme will provide farmers with a low cost, flexible source of working capital. This will allow them to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt, such as merchant credit or overdrafts, contributing to the ongoing …

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Brexit looms over Irish tourism

THE Brexit factor will be an issue for Irish tourism to deal with in the year ahead, it has been suggested.Tourism sector sentiment, on the rise for the last few years, may now be plateauing as concerns about Brexit take hold, according to Fáilte Ireland’s latest Tourism Barometer Survey. Results from the survey show that business sentiment across the tourism sector remains buoyant, but there is evidence of optimism tempered by caution within the industry, as 2016 ended and attention turned to 2017 – fuelled mainly by the uncertainties around Brexit. Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Business Sentiment Index (reflecting 2016 performance and 2017 expectations) shows that, for the first time in years, there has been a slight drop in positive sentiment. While three quarters (76%) remain confident about their business, the upward trend seen since 2010 has not continued. With respect to 2017 and the year ahead, the survey indicates that two thirds (64%) of paid serviced accommodation providers (PSA) expect …

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Optimistic outlook for Clare tourism

THE latest Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) quarterly barometer showed that hotel and guesthouse owners in Clare and across the country are very optimistic about 2017, after significant growth this year. Nine in 10 IHF members say they saw increased business in 2016, while 57% grew their workforce and some 89% have plans to reinvest in their properties in 2017. Also, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the number of overseas visitors grew by 10% to 8.8 million – the highest number on record. There was an increase of 10% in holiday visitors, while business visitors and those coming to visit friends and relatives were up 12%. Elaine Fitzgerald Kane, chair of the Shannon branch of the IHF, said there has been a lot to be positive about. “Irish tourism has seen a record-breaking year in 2016 and there is a lot to celebrate. This is an outstanding achievement and a result of the hard work being carried out by …

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3,400 tourism jobs increase

The creation of 3,400 extra tourism jobs has been lauded by The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), but allied to a warned that the sector faces external threats. The tourism industry was worth €7.3 billion to the Irish economy last year and over eight million international tourists visited Ireland in 2015. The sector paid €1.8 billion to the exchequer in taxes last year. 2016 has continued to perform strongly with 13% growth in overseas visitors for the first six months, ITIC reported. ITIC said that the latest CSO quarterly figures show that tourism has increased employment further and is Ireland’s largest business employer. The sector now accounts for one in nine jobs nationally. Recent tourism jobs include the opening of two flagship visitor attractions in Dublin – GPO’s Witness History and Epic Ireland, ITIC said. However, ITIC has warned that growth and regional balance should not be taken for granted. The group said that the decisions taken in Budget 2017 …

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NUI Galway to host Brexit debate

NUI GALWAY is to host, in association with the British Embassy in Ireland, a public event on the Brexit referendum on Wednesday next. The event, which will take place in the Aula Maxima (Lower), Quadrangle Building, is also in collaboration with European Movement Ireland’s national conversation. The UK is facing a momentous decision on June 23 on whether to remain in or leave the EU.  Not surprisingly, the ‘Brexit’ debate is being followed with particular interest in Ireland – the only EU country with which the UK shares a land border. John McHale, Established Professor and Head of Economics at NUI Galway, said, “The possibility of Brexit looms large as we scan the horizon for threats to the Irish economy and our trading partners. Even though the consequences are uncertain, it is critical that we rigorously debate the potential implications before this momentous decision is made.” The public event will bring together a distinguished panel to debate the economic and political implications of Brexit on …

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