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Irish Tradespeople's Voices on the Upcoming 2024 Budget
Kelly Ohlmus

Irish Tradespeople's Voices on the Upcoming 2024 Budget

Discover the priorities of Ireland's tradespeople for the 2024 budget as they voice optimism and expectations. From tax incentives to sustainability support, gain insights into their needs and suggestions.

With anticipation and expectations surrounding the Irish government's forthcoming 2024 budget announcement on September 10th, the entire nation is abuzz. In particular, the hardworking tradespeople of Ireland, who play a vital role in the country's economy, are eagerly awaiting this event.

We reached out to thousands of our tradespeople members to gauge their sentiments regarding the upcoming budget and to gain insights into the government support they hope to see in it.


Optimism in the Trade Community

When we posed the question of whether they were optimistic about the 2024 budget, the responses were varied. While some expressed uncertainty, a significant number revealed an optimistic attitude and hopeful expectations for positive changes. Many tradespeople are eagerly looking forward to policies and support measures that could potentially benefit their respective industries.


Key Areas of Government Support

We also asked our members to rate the importance of several key areas where government support could make a difference in their professional lives, using a scale of 1 to 5. Here's what they had to say:


1. Tax Incentives:

Tax incentives received the highest importance rating from respondents, with an average rating of 4.58 out of 5. This indicates that tradespeople consider reductions in VAT rates on materials to be of utmost importance. The high priority given to tax incentives suggests that businesses and individuals are seeking financial relief through reduced taxes on essential materials and services.


2. Access to Affordable Financing:

Access to affordable financing for business expansion, equipment purchases, or working capital closely follows tax incentives in priority, with an average rating of 4.35. This highlights the tradespeople's keen interest in financial support that enables them to invest in their businesses and secure necessary resources for growth and sustainability.


3. Sustainability & Innovation Support:

Sustainability and innovation support, such as retrofit or modular building training, also received a high importance rating, averaging 4.33. This underscores the significance of environmental and innovative initiatives in the eyes of respondents, signalling their desire for government backing in these areas.


4. Safety and Health Support:

Safety and health support, including affordable healthcare and mental health services, is equally rated at 4.33. This emphasises the importance of healthcare and well-being for both individuals and businesses, especially considering the ongoing challenges related to health and mental well-being.


5. Apprenticeships & Training:

Although apprenticeships and training funding are still deemed important, they received the lowest priority among the options with an average rating of 4.17. Respondents may perceive other areas such as tax incentives, financing, and sustainability support as more immediate and pressing concerns.


The survey results indicate that tradespeople prioritise government support measures in the following order: Tax Incentives, Access to Affordable Financing, Sustainability and Innovation Support, Safety and Health Support, and finally, Apprenticeships and Training. These results can inform the government's decision-making process for allocating resources in the 2024 budget, with a focus on addressing the most critical needs of the public and businesses.


Additional Comments and Suggestions


Several respondents took the opportunity to provide specific suggestions for the 2024 budget. These suggestions ranged from addressing inflation and high living costs to expressing concerns about the current state of the government. Many tradespeople hold strong opinions about the challenges they face and the role they believe the government should play in addressing them.


CIF's Plea to the Government

In parallel with tradespeople's expectations, the Constriction Industry Federation (CIF) 2024 budget submission sets out the construction industry’s proposed recommendations, calling for increased investment in the planning system to address critical bottlenecks in infrastructure and housing delivery. 

CIF's Budget 2024 submission outlines a comprehensive approach under five key budget themes:

  • Resourcing the Planning System: CIF emphasizes the need for additional staffing and digital infrastructure to streamline planning processes. The rollout of a national online planning portal is proposed to accelerate the submission of planning applications.
  • Infrastructure and Regional Development: Recognizing Ireland's burgeoning population, CIF advocates for substantial investments in infrastructure, energy, water, and transport to facilitate sustainable growth.
  • Residential Supply: CIF calls for measures that increase the delivery of housing to meet rising demand promptly.
  • Sustainability: CIF aligns with Ireland's commitment to environmental responsibility by proposing sustainability initiatives, including retrofitting and modular building training.
  • Cultivating People, Skills, and Capacity: To prepare for the future, CIF highlights the necessity of investments in training, skills development, and capacity building.


Unified Vision for Budget 2024

The alignment of tradespeople's expectations and CIF's appeal to the government emphasises a shared vision for Budget 2024. Both parties emphasise the importance of government support in key areas, ranging from resource allocation for the planning system to the promotion of sustainability and the well-being of individuals and businesses.

The government finds itself at a crucial turning point, with an opportunity to shape a budget that addresses the urgent needs and concerns of its workforce and industries, demonstrating leadership and foresight in its decision-making.


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