Cork Chamber: Apartment shortages must be addressed in Budget 2020

Cork Chamber: Apartment shortages must be addressed in Budget 2020
Launching the 'Big Five to Make Ireland Thrive' ahead of Budget 2020 are Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber and Seamus Downey, Chair of Cork Chamber's Budget Committee.

CORK Chamber has identified the stimulation of apartment builds as a key issue for the city in its Budget 2020 submission.

The representative body for business in Cork also highlighted public investment, cuts to childcare costs, investment in green alternatives for homes and businesses and retention of the corporate tax rate of 12.5% as areas the Government must address.

Cork Chamber’s latest survey of its 1,200 members revealed the availability of housing and rental accommodation as a top threat to growth, with Brexit ranked first. Skills availability was ranked third.

The Chamber has recommended 16 interventions in the housing market including the expansion of the Living City Initiative and the Help to Buy schemes, as well as allocating a proportion of the Local Property Tax in the form of a rebate to builders of apartments in city centres.

President of the Chamber Paula Cogan said over 90% of its members are looking for city accommodation shortages to be addressed.

“While there is significant demand for city-centre living, it is currently not viable to build apartments. Budget 2020 must bridge the viability gap so we can construct affordable apartments. 91% or our members support targeted, time-bound measures to simulate the construction of more urban accommodation,” Ms Cogan said.

“The Government must take a prudent approach to public finances and run a balanced budget. Our members want Budget 2020 to prioritise public investment and measure to improve business competitiveness. Only 10% want to see income tax cuts prioritised.

“Our high cost of childcare often means that for parents, it does not make economic sense to work. Investing in high quality, affordable and accessible childcare is good for children, for parents and for the economy. The Budget should increase investment in the Affordable Childcare Scheme.

“Our tax system should ensure that Ireland remains a competitive place for business and Government must maintain our corporate tax rate at 12.5%,” Ms Cogan added.

The Chamber has also called for increased funding allocations for public transport, cycling infrastructure and renewable energy.

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