The Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTAI) has called for the Irish government to support logistics businesses through the potential cliff-edge of a no deal Brexit by providing them with preparedness funding in the 2020 Budget.
Aidan Flynn, General Manager of FTAI, commented: “FTAI is calling for the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, to support logistics businesses through a potentially turbulent Brexit by providing them with preparedness funding in the 2020 Budget. The logistics sector is charged with protecting the nation’s supply chain ahead of the impact of Brexit; it cannot do so without the right government support. We are asking for Mr Donohoe to provide more sustained funding and aid for businesses to prepare and implement contingency plans; in particular, he should extend the training funds available through Skillnets to cover all costs relating to Brexit upskilling.
“The uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU has already stunted business growth in ROI; it has also increased costs for businesses as they are forced to implement No Deal Brexit contingency measures. And for the haulage sector, which is a high-volume, low-margin industry, there are limited time and funds available. The threat of a No Deal Brexit continues to grow every day, in no small part to the UK Prime Minister’s intransigence towards understanding what needs to be done to reach a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the EU and UK. We know that to trade with ‘third countries’, particularly on the scale we need between Ireland and the UK and vice versa, will bring definite problems and delays to the supply chain.”
Mr Flynn continued: “FTAI is also calling for the government to provide additional funding, or in some instances tax breaks, to encourage businesses to adopt more environmentally friendly practices, such as using alternatively fuelled vehicles or having an active fuel management programme in place. Finally, FTAI is calling for the government to support the new ‘earn as you learn’ apprenticeship programme to help tackle the skills shortage in the logistics sector.
“With less than three months until the UK leaves the EU, the Budget holds great significance: it will be vital in determining the shape of the Irish economy post-Brexit. FTAI will continue pressing government to provide the funding and support logistics businesses desperately need to keep the country trading.”