Calls have been made for both an extension to the Job Retention Scheme and the removal of the business rate relief cliff edge by allocating additional funds to the Executive, in an article by Adrian Doran, the Chair of CBI Northern Ireland.
Writing in the Belfast Newsletter he also says that although we can all look forward to a better year in 2021, the pain of the last year will probably last a while longer yet.
You can read the full article at the link above but here are a few snippets from it:
No Immediate Respite On The Horizon
“For all the promise 2021 holds, those hoping for immediate respite from the pain of the past 12 months will have a bit longer to wait.
“With significant increases in transmission, and particularly a new variant of the virus emerging, the Executive’s recent announcement of tougher restrictions was as predictable as it was essential. While businesses recognise the unenviable position that policymakers find themselves in, it’s undoubtedly a bitter pill for firms to swallow as they continue to do everything in their power just to stay afloat.
“In the immediate term, we must put the health of our citizens first. That is beyond dispute. While businesses will continue to step up in the national interest to support the NHS, employees and customers in the weeks ahead, maintaining steadfast support for firms during this painful period will help ensure the recovery is delayed for as short a time as possible – as well as protecting vital jobs and firms that still teeter on the brink.
The Direct Grants Will Provide Some Relief
“It was encouraging to see the Chancellor move swiftly once again to provide additional support to companies across Northern Ireland. With demand evaporating at breakneck speed, news of more, direct grants will provide some relief to eligible companies’ cashflow, especially in some of the hardest-hit sectors. The Executive must do all it can to make sure that money quickly hits businesses’ bank accounts.
“Extending the Job Retention Scheme to end of the second quarter would provide firms with a clear line of sight, assisting planning and investment. And removing the business rate relief cliff edge in March by allocating additional funds to the Executive would create much-needed breathing space, particularly if combined with re-examining the case for VAT deferrals.
Brighter Future Within Our Reach
“While the new year may not have started with the good news we all hoped for, let me say this clearly. The end is in sight. The vaccine rollout is now underway, mass rapid testing is increasing, and a brighter future is within our reach. And with the UK set to host the important G7, B7 and COP26 summits this year, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate our resolve, our leadership and our competitiveness to a waiting world. How we stood together, found common purpose and looked out for one another during the pandemic will stand us in good stead as we embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
Some very good points there from Adrian Doran which we very much agree with. We hope you enjoyed our blog today and if you need our assistance in any way please give our offices a call on 028 3752 2909.