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What Budget contains for businesses to be debated at Waterford conference – Richmond

25th September 2023 - Neale Richmond, TD

What Budget 2024 contains for businesses will be a main conversation topic this weekend at a conference in Waterford attended by the Taoiseach and Government Ministers.


The Small Business and Enterprise Conference takes place this Saturday, September 30th at the SETU Arena. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Ministers Simon Coveney, Paschal Donohoe and Neale Richmond will all be in attendance.


Speaking ahead of the Waterford event, Minister for Business, Employment and Retail Neale Richmond said, “Ireland has reached effective full employment with more people working now than ever before in our history, we have record unemployment and huge numbers of women returning to the workplace.


“Today in Ireland, everyone who wants a job has a job. Over 70,000 people came to Ireland to work over the past year, almost 30,000 of whom were Irish citizens returning home. That’s very different to when Fine Gael first entered Government.


“This economic success has not been accidental and much of this progress is down to the small businesses who are the backbone of our economy, employing over one million people right across the country.


“This Small Business and Enterprise Conference in Waterford is an opportunity for us in Fine Gael to engage with business people of all backgrounds and industries, and hear what supports they believe would help them to continue to grow here in Ireland,” Minister Richmond said.


Over the last year, Fine Gael’s Small Business and Enterprise Council, established at the first Conference in Thomond Park, Limerick, in September 2022, has undertaken a body of work to meet and listen to businesses.


Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, Minister Neale Richmond, and Chair of the SBE Council, Kathryn Lynch, have travelled around the country listening to the issues, concerns, and suggestions raised at our workshops.


“Businesses in Ireland are doing very well but we know that the past few years have not been easy,” Minister Richmond said.


“From the pandemic to Brexit, rising energy costs to inflation, Irish businesses have proven their resilience. We in Government can and always do more to help.

“Budget 2024 is fast approaching and we have committed to supporting businesses next year and to help with the impact of rising energy and wage costs to ensure that Irish businesses can focus on their own growth and success.


“We have not been found wanting in our support for Irish businesses and this will not change. As businesses look towards digitalisation and decarbonisation, there are plenty of opportunities to be relished and we want to hear how we can best support them on this journey.


“Fine Gael is proud to be the most pro-business party in Ireland. In order to continue to support businesses, we must hear from them directly what supports they want to see.


“I look forward to engaging with businesses on these issues and more in Waterford and would encourage all business people to attend.” Minister Richmond concluded.


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