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ISME’s pre-budget 2019 submission

31st May 2018

  • Spending on infrastructure should be prioritised
  • Current Further Education and Training regime is not consistent with activating a bigger workforce
  • Implement in full the 20 key tax recommendations made by the Irish Tax Institute


ISME, the Irish SME Association today (May 31st) submitted its Pre-Budget Submission to Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister of Finance. The document outlines the Associations key priorities for Budget 2019. Ireland’s GDP is expected to grow by 4.1% in 2019, the third highest in Europe, behind Malta and Slovakia. This is tightening the labour market, pressurising wages, and rapidly increasing the cost of housing.

Commenting on today’s Submission ISME CEO Neil McDonnell saidWhile we acknowledge the clamour the Minister faces from all sides to increase expenditure and decrease taxes, ISME points out that the external threats to our economy are many, and the internal threats are familiar.”

“This time 10 years ago, threats were present as well, but weren’t heeded. Retail sales were high, new house prices were €18k off their 2007 Q2 peak of €332k, but weren’t plummeting. The ‘soft landing’ was on its way. The dismal scientists had got it wrong.”

He added

“Strange things started to happen with US banks, and very soon, we had a 31% fall in new and second hand house prices. The rest is the history of the Great Recession, which cost Ireland 300,000 job losses.”

“The very laws that the US Government introduced back then to make sure this wouldn’t happen again, have just been filleted by the current US administration. Back in 2008, we had a national debt of ‘just’ €50bn. We were able to borrow our way out of the hole. Today our debt is more than four times higher, and we can’t borrow our way out of the next crisis. While it is acceptable to hope for the best, it is prudent to prepare for the worst.”

ISME asks Minister Donohoe to keep this in mind as he frames Budget 2019.

Our Pre-Budget Submission can be found here.