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Dublin Chamber President Calls on Government to Reward Risk and Slash CGT Rate for Indigenous Firms to 20%

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25 October 2022


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Dublin Chamber President Calls on Government to Reward Risk and Slash CGT Rate for Indigenous Firms to 20%  

+ Dublin Chamber Calls on Government for Appointment of Cabinet-level Minister for Dublin 

+ Minister for Finance also addresses audience of 1200 in Convention Centre 

Thursday 20th October 2022: Business group Dublin Chamber calls on Government to reward risk; encourage successful domestic businesses to double down and achieve global scale whilst keeping Ireland as an operational base.  

Speaking to an audience of 1200 business representatives at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner this evening, Dublin Chamber President Vincent Harrison, Managing Director of Dublin Airport, will tonight tell attendees that “Government needs to reduce the rate of CGT for indigenous firms to a simple 20% rate. With inflation at a forty year high, no indexation and Capital Gains Tax set at a punitively high rate, we think the time has come to make a low rate of CGT an inherent element of enterprise policy going forward.” 

Harrison will also speak to the need for the appointment of a Cabinet-level Minster to take direct responsibility for Dublin, alongside the urgent need to progress major public transport projects. 

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, TD, will deliver his own address tonight to the 1200 business representatives attending Dublin Chamber’s first in person annual dinner in three years.

Below is a copy of Vincent Harrison’s speech.


President’s Annual Dinner Speech 2022


Thank you, Mary Rose, and welcome Lord Mayor, Ambassadors, Ministers, Oireachtas members, distinguished guests, and all my fellow Dublin Chamber members.

Just six months or so on from our two years of imposed isolation, I’m delighted to be able to meet everyone, in person, old school, as we mark our annual celebration of Dublin Business. Since our AGM Dinner in March, the economy has made a remarkable recovery to full employment much faster than anyone had expected. And this sense of a return to normality is encapsulated by a full house in the Convention Centre tonight.

However, Dublin now faces into a period of high inflation and an extended period of economic uncertainty precipitated by the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine. I too wish to acknowledge the presence of the Ukrainian Ambassador, Larysa Gerasko, here this evening. 

So, how has Dublin fared so far against such global turmoil? Well, the swift recovery throughout 2022 demonstrates the clear resilience and flexibility inherent in the economy’s ability to respond to economic shocks, with a strong emphasis on competitiveness, but also on quality of life, which makes Dublin a great place to live.

So far, so good. But Government cannot rest on its laurels at this. More will need to be done to underpin future prosperity, build better infrastructure and public services, and ensure Dublin rises to meet our ambition as a global city of renown, where people want to live, work and visit. The path may not always be easy, but we as Dublin business are here, Minister, to support Government in achieving growth and prosperity in the long run – and not just to seek compensation for the trials of the present. Those taking a chance to set up their own business, and working hard to make it grow and scale, must be rewarded for the personal risk they are taking. Investment in housing and infrastructure is key, and the question of how best to govern the Dublin city region has come to the fore, with the work of the Citizens’ Assembly on a Directly Elected Mayor.

Post Budget Reaction 

Minister, today your department has published the Finance Bill, putting on a legislative footing the €11bn euro package of measures you and Minister Mc Grath outlined on Budget Day. We in Dublin Chamber were pleased to see the emphasis on rewarding work with cuts in labour taxation. We particularly welcome the supports for those that are thinking about returning to work - such as the near trebling of the universal payment under the National Childcare Scheme. Dublin’s tight labour market is very much a symptom of the poor supply and high cost of accommodation in the region. Incentivising those who already live in Dublin to return to work and also to increase female labour participation is a pragmatic and valuable initiative. Continued support for investment in housing and infrastructure is also paramount, as well as measures to ensure that vacant sites are put back into the market.

Many here will not know that Dublin Chamber was THE proponent of a share option scheme for employees of unquoted SMEs, now known as the KEEP Scheme. A number of important improvements were set out in Budget 2023 to improve the existing take up, which is still only from a handful of companies. The scheme allows start-ups and other ambitious indigenous firms to attract and reward key staff that take a chance with their careers and throw in their lot with an entrepreneur. 

We think more must be done to reward those who take the initiative - and the risk – of setting up their own business - and growing it. Here at Dublin Chamber, we talk about incentivising those who take such risks - not compensating them for when the risks occur.

While it is helpful to businesses for Government to offset some of the cost of their energy bills in the short run, Dublin Chamber strongly encourages Government to tackle the underlying problems by helping firms make the transition to a lower carbon and energy efficient model so that energy costs remain manageable in the longer term. What is that adage? Teach a person to fish… This principle very much underpins our approach to the Sustainability Academy, which we run with AIB, where companies learn how to reduce their carbon emissions and develop their ESG credentials. AIB are also very generous sponsors of tonight’s event and I want to acknowledge this and our close working relationship with them over many years.

Government need to reduce the rate of CGT for indigenous firms to a simple 20% rate. With inflation at a forty year high, no indexation and Capital Gains Tax set at a punitively high rate, we think the time has come to make a low rate of CGT an inherent element of enterprise policy going forward. We need to reward risk, encourage successful domestic businesses to double down and achieve global scale and to remove the attraction of relocating to other jurisdictions as they reach that scale.

Infrastructure and Housing

Over a year has passed since the publication of the National Development Plan. The success of Dublin very much hinges on the delivery of vital infrastructure, whether that’s MetroLink, the DART extension programme, the Eastern and Midlands Water Supply Project, and as recent months have highlighted - progress on the precarious nature of Dublin’s energy security is crucial. There are transformative public transport projects in the pipeline, but we all know how long major infrastructure projects can take in Ireland. The speed of planning and delivery will be key, along with the strong support of Government in the face of what will be, difficult conversations around timelines and spending. There is an imperative to think long term with these projects, increase the pace and stay the course. Ambition is required here, so we call on Government to do everything in their power to get Metrolink up and running by 2030. Wouldn’t that be a great way to start the new decade?!

The preliminary census figures for 2022 show that the population of the Greater Dublin Area continues to grow. The population of Fingal, where my own business is based, and of Kildare expanded by about one eighth (11%) in the past six years. Housing targets for the entire Dublin region may well need to be revised upwards. But none of this can proceed without basic infrastructure, such as water. The Eastern and Midlands Region Water Supply Project cannot be delayed any further in order to meet even the medium term needs of the region. 

Minister for Dublin 

At the AGM, we marked the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s accession to the EU. And we have another anniversary to mark tonight. This year marks the centenary since the establishment of An Garda Siochanna in 1922. We welcome the additional Garda numbers announced in Budget 2023. Safety is one of many complex issues affecting Dublin, in many cases spanning several Government Departments and local authorities. To coordinate and deal with all these issues effectively is at present very difficult but they have increasingly featured among issues of concern to our members as we return to visiting and working in the city in greater numbers. Perhaps understanding this complexity, the Citizens’ Assembly has voted on a comprehensive suite of recommendations on a powerful Metropolitan Mayor for Dublin. The details of these recommendations will be presented to Government in December. 

Earlier this year, Dublin Chamber made a submission to Dublin Citizens' Assembly on a directly elected mayor. An elected executive figure for Dublin has been mooted for many many years. However, the chamber has long argued that it is the role, not the title that is important. For too long this process has been debated and teased out. A directly elected Dublin Mayor requires real devolution of powers and subsidiarity. If a Mayor without robust powers is not on the cards, we propose that a cabinet-level Minister needs to be appointed to take responsibility for the development of Dublin. Dublin needs someone to ensure greater co-ordination and cooperation between local authorities, to Champion Dublin at home and abroad, someone to develop enterprise and trade in the region, and someone who will be that strong voice for the Capital at the highest levels of Government. 

Concluding remarks

In conclusion, I note there are many challenges in the years ahead. But time and again Dublin businesses have shown that they are resilient, flexible and agile. We will work with you and your colleagues Minister to meet these challenges head on. We can be confident that as we come back together at events like this, renewing old connections and making new ones. Dublin Businesses can adapt and innovate like we did before. 

May I thank all in attendance here tonight for making this such a successful event – we hope that you enjoy the remainder of your evening.


*Check speech against delivery*

For further information please contact:

Órla Mannion | Senior Public Affairs Executive | Dublin Chamber |

About Dublin Chamber:
Dublin Chamber is the largest chamber of commerce in Ireland with over 1,300 member companies. It is the most representative and broadly-based business group in the Greater Dublin Area, providing representation and networking services. Its policy work focuses on developing the Dublin region’s infrastructure & transport, promoting competitiveness, and improving local governance. Dublin Chamber is also one of the oldest chambers of commerce in the world, tracing its origins back to 1782.


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