April 20, 2024
ICOB in danger of being becoming another failed government business support scheme – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, said the Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) Scheme was in danger of becoming another failed business support scheme, like the TBESS scheme, unless government makes necessary changes.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Since its announcement the ICOB Scheme has been beset by delays, confusion, and incompetence.

“The announcement, establishment, and rollout of the scheme picked up where the failed Temporary Business Energy Support (TBESS) Scheme left off.

“The nature of the scheme, qualifying criteria, and grant rate changed on a number of occasions since budget day last October.

“It is little wonder that businesses are confused and that registration for the ICOB grant are so low.

“It is essential that the May 1st deadline for registrations is extended, and that government and local authorities engage in a comprehensive communications strategy aimed at the SME community to encourage take-up.

“We cannot have a repeat of the TBESS Scheme debacle where, due to government failure, take up of the support was exceptionally low – only expending around 12% of its €1.3 billion budget.

“The ICOB scheme will provide some short-term relief for business, and I would encourage every small and medium business with a rateable premises to register for the grant.

“Additionally, I would reiterate my call for government to engage with business stakeholders in terms of designing a bespoke, time-limited financial support to help SMEs and family businesses cope with the additional costs caused by government policy interventions.”

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