Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the delay in the launch of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme is further evidence that the government should have held a mini budget earlier this summer.
She was speaking following comments by the Minister for Finance that payments “should” be issued to businesses by Christmas.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Today’s announcement from the European Commission that they have approved the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) is a welcome development for businesses across the state.
“The support the scheme will give small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with their energy bills is incredibly important and will offer some respite in the face of the cost of doing business crisis.
“However, the delay in the delivery of the scheme has had an impact on businesses, many who have been crying out for immediate support.
“Just yesterday, research from Wise Business found that 70 per cent of SMEs in Ireland fear they may have to close in 2023 due to rising costs.
“It is against this backdrop that the Minister for Finance’s comments that payments should be issued by Christmas must be viewed.
“The scheme was announced in Budget 2023, but it has still not gone live. It has been delayed because it needed to be approved by the European Commission and legislated for in the Oireachtas.
“The government knew the TBESS scheme would have to go through these technical procedures and that this would cause delays.
“It is frustrating that they did not deliver a mini budget earlier this summer, to launch schemes such as the TBESS, when Sinn Féin called on them to do so.
“If the government had used a mini budget to launch this support scheme, then it would be operational by now, and businesses would be receiving support with their energy bills.”