Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, said energy supports announced by the government in Budget 2023 are failing to properly support business.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“There was much fanfare from government as regards the energy supports for business contained within Budget 2023.
“Five headline schemes delivering grants and loans totalling over €3 billion were announced.
“However, since the announcement on Budget Day these schemes have been delayed, have not commenced, or have had derisory levels of applications due to the complexities of the application process.
“To date, across the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS), the Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme (UECS), the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme, the Small Firms investment in energy efficiency scheme, Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme, only €24.3 million in support has been issued to businesses.
“Indeed, the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme and the Small Firms investment in energy efficiency scheme have not yet gone live, and the Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme was only launched on Monday.
“It is clear there are significant issues, especially in terms of the TBESS and the UECS schemes.
“There have only been 17,740 applications for support under the TBESS scheme and €20.4 million issued from a €1.25bn scheme. While the UECS, a €200 million scheme, has only seen €3.8 million issued under Stream 1 of the scheme and no monies issued under Stream 2.
“If applied correctly in an accessible and streamlined manner the TBESS and UECS schemes can offer effective support for businesses, but as it stands both are failing enterprise.
“The government must not only give businesses more time to submit claims, but they must make the TBESS and UECS schemes more accessible and impactful.”