Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has welcomed the announcement of the Government’s National Economic Recovery Plan, stating that the plan provides certainty for business as the economy gradually begins to transition from Covid restrictions over the coming months.
Ibec also highlighted the importance of ensuring funding from the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund is deployed effectively to address the pre-existing economic and social challenges exacerbated by the pandemic and ensuring the long-term sustainable recovery and development of the economy. This, Ibec said, includes securing further innovation, deployment and adoption of the digitalisation opportunities presented by the emerging post-Covid landscape.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy stated: "Despite the positive progress made in terms of the easing of restrictions in recent weeks, many businesses will struggle to return to pre-Covid levels of activity for some time.
"Financial support schemes have represented a crucial lifeline over the course of the pandemic and will continue to do so over the coming months.
"It is positive that Government has committed to a tapering off of the schemes rather than an abrupt cliff-edge termination. Focus must now turn to ensuring the activation of the labour market and safely returning workers to the workplace as swiftly as possible, including those within the Experience Economy.
"The commitment from Government to deliver the new Pathways to Work programme is a much-needed strategy that reflects the changed labour market because of Covid, and will undoubtedly play an important role in addressing emerging skills mismatches within particular sectors and avoiding long-term scarring within the labour market.
"Business also welcomes the announcement that funds are to be made available via the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Fund to address some of the pressing economic and societal challenges facing the country, many of which have been exacerbated by Covid.
"It is crucial for a long-term sustainable recovery that these funds are deployed ambitiously and effectively to address infrastructural investment deficits, secure digitalisation opportunities, and support the economy’s low carbon adjustment ambitions."