Budget 2022 – Good for Business and Good for Workers

Budget 2022 sets out to help businesses get back on their feet as we reopen the economy and society, to prepare them for the future and to help families and workers with the cost of living. 

Funding allocated to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in Budget 2022 comes on top of the measures announced in the National Economic Recovery Plan, which sets out how the Government plans to get more people than ever working in long-term, future-proofed jobs.

An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar T.D.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar T.D. and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment said:

“Budget 2022 is good for business and good for workers. It will secure our economic recovery and help businesses that are still struggling. The extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) until April 2022 at a cost of up to €1.4 billion is the largest single item announced on Budget Day.  It is being done at a time when many Governments are closing down similar schemes.  We are doing this because we want to give every business a fighting chance to survive the pandemic and hold on to as many of their staff as they can.  It’s about protecting jobs and businesses.

“There have been many ups and downs over the past year. A serious third wave of the virus and prolonged periods of lockdown – but also a highly successful vaccination programme and a near full reopening of the economy.

“This is a Budget which recognises many businesses are still struggling. There will be no cliff-edge for those that still need financial support from the State. We are extending the EWSS and a targeted rates waiver to help them get back on their feet.   We’re making sure low-cost government backed loans will remain available. 

“We are also looking to the future and helping those that are in a position to grow.  The expansion of the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS), the extension of the Small Start-Up Companies Relief, the new Digital Games Tax Credit, a new €90 million Innovation Equity Fund as well as increased resources for the IDA and Enterprise Ireland will ensure this.  Climate change and digital technologies are transforming the world of work and we need to make sure that Irish businesses are prepared.

“As previously announced in the Revised NDP, we will provide €20 million to help Irish enterprise decarbonise and go digital and there will be a new call for applications for the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund.  These are all designed to kick start new areas of economic growth, providing long-term, future-proofed jobs.”

Budget 2022 – Top 10 for Businesses

  1. The extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) until April 2022 to help struggling businesses retain staff
  2. A targeted commercial rates waiver in Q4 2021, for business that are not yet fully open
  3. Expansion of the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) to attract early-stage funding into new and innovative businesses
  4. New €90 million Innovation Equity Fund, which will invest in early-stage companies with potential to grow and scale up
  5. Extra funding for the Covid Credit Guarantee Scheme, providing low-cost loans for businesses negatively affected by Covid
  6. €20 million extra to help Irish enterprises decarbonise and go digital
  7. Extension of corporation tax relief for small start-up companies to 2026, with a 5-year qualification window
  8. New tax credit for the digital gaming industry, for up to 32% of eligible expenditure to help Ireland win a bigger part of the $300 billion global industry
  9. The Microbreweries Relief will be extended in next year’s Finance Bill to producers of fermented beverages such as apple ciders and perries, helping brewers across the country.
  10. Funding for a new call for the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund and the Regional Enterprise Development Fund.

The Tánaiste said:

“This Budget is also about helping people with the rising cost of living.  Increasing tax credits and widening tax bands will ensure that workers can keep more of the money they earn and retain most of any pay increase or increment they might get in 2022.  We’re also increasing the minimum wage to €10.50 an hour from January 1st, a 30 cent increase on this year. I believe this is really important, as we need to ensure that low paid workers are protected from inflation. You’ll see that the Government is doing that in many ways in this budget.”

Helping workers with the cost of living

  1. Increase in the minimum wage from €10.20 to €10.50 per hour
  2. An Income Tax Package increasing the personal, PAYE and earned-income tax credits as well as widening of the standard rate tax band
  3. Widening of USC bands, meaning all full-time workers on the minimum wage will remain outside the 4.5% rate of USC
  4. Tax relief for remote working, allowing people to reclaim up to 30% of their electricity, heat and broadband bills.

  Future-proofed jobs

  1. New €90 million Innovation Equity Fund, which will invest in early-stage companies with potential to grow and scale
  2. €10 million to the Climate Transition Fund, to help businesses decarbonise and prepare for the future  
  3. €10 million to the Digital Transition Fund, to help all businesses, particularly SMEs to move online and digitalise, including the use of AI and data analytics
  4. Extra €5 million to the Food Transformation Fund Scheme to help agrifood businesses adapt to the impact of Brexit
  5. Extra €5 million to the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, which will fund another call under the scheme to help enterprises across the country respond to region specific challenges. Enterprise Ireland will have €37 million in total to support the Regional and Border Enterprise Development Funds in 2022
  6. Extra €2 million for Local Employment Offices (LEOs) to provide more training to SMEs to adapt and take action on climate and digital
  7. Extra €3 million for the European Space Agency Programme, to make sure Irish companies can compete and win contracts, developing the Space industry and creating jobs here
  8. €35 million extra for the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund, which will allow a further call in 2022 
  9. €7 million investment in the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) scale up its research and training capacity in areas such as cell and gene therapy as envisaged in the revised National Development Plan
  10.  €3 million to establish European Innovation Hubs in 2022, giving Irish companies the chance to adopt best practice in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and computing
  11. A further €3.9 million for other programmes under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Programmes, including a capital equipment call and the Technology Transfer Programme.

 Push to attract FDI and Jobs to Ireland

  1. €10 million for IDA’s Regional Property Programme, which prepares state-of-the-art facilities around the country to attract investors to set up and create jobs. IDA is aiming to provide more regional properties for investors in 2022 than in any previous year
  2. €5.5 million additional monies for targeted grants to attract FDI to every county in Ireland
  3. €4 million for an Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Limerick, which will provide a state-of-the-art facility for both indigenous and multinational companies to develop new technologies
  4. €1.5 million for the IDA to promote Ireland abroad as an attractive location for investment.

 Increased capacity

  1. €1.2 million for Intertrade Ireland to respond to the increased complexity of cross-border trade post Brexit, which is a 15% increase in its core capital allocation. Funding will also be provided for a new service which will ameliorate supply chain issues for businesses operating on both sides of the border
  2. €1 million in funding for the Design and Craft Council to support their work in what is an extremely valuable indigenous industry in Ireland
  3. €500,000 for the Workplace Relations Commission to recruit more inspectors
  4. €1.74 million for the Health and Safety Authority for additional staff costs and to upgrade their ICT capability to streamline inspection services
  5. €1.58 million for the Competition and Consumer Protection Authority to reflect their expanded mandate, allowing them hire more staff. 

 Covid Response

  1. €17 million additional to ensure Covid related supports are kept available for those that need them on top of carryover funding meaning €100 million will be available for discrete Covid measures in 2022
  2. Includes €2 million for the continuation of the Covid Products Scheme to fund testing and fast-track production of products which will help in the fight against Covid-19. €15 million is for contingent liabilities under the Covid Credit Guarantee Scheme.

 Funding to crack down on white collar crime

  1. €1.69 million for the new Corporate Enforcement Authority, to ensure it has the funding it needs to crack down on white collar crime.

 Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD said:

 “In Ireland, our local small and medium enterprises are the heartbeat of our economy.  They are critical in driving employment and economic activity as well as being embedded in all our communities.  Budget 2022 recognises that a strong, resilient SME sector is vital to rebuilding the economy post COVID-19.  Key to this will be to help SMEs transition to the green and digital economy.

“Additional funding has been allocated to Enterprise Ireland and our Local Enterprise Offices to allow them work with indigenous Irish businesses on the importance of climate change mitigation and adaption; to accelerate SME digitalisation; and on ensuring that the recovery and growth of the SME sector extends to all parts of the country. 

“Given the importance of the retail sector and the benefits of trading online for retailers I am pleased we will be introducing a new round of the successful Online Retail Scheme next year. In addition, my Department has recently commenced a major review of the Retail Sector and this is expected to be completed by the end of this year” 


Mininister Robert Troy, TD.

Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD said:

 “Budget 2022 ensures there is continued help to those businesses and sectors who need it and sets the trajectory of our ambition to support Irish enterprises navigate the changed landscape and seize the opportunities it presents.

 “Focussing on our post-pandemic recovery and embracing the opportunities in innovation will enable us to build back to an economy that is stronger and more resilient. Digital transformation will be central to this, and I am pleased to see this recognised in this Budget including the €10 million Digital Transition Fund to support Irish SMEs on their digital journey and transformation. In addition. the allocation of €3 million for the establishment of several European Digital Innovation hubs will play a critical role in facilitating the digitalisation of Irish SMEs across sectors and regions.

 “Furthermore, to support our post-pandemic recovery, maintaining our standing as an attractive destination for FDI has never been more important. In addition to the other allocations to the IDA to enhance our regional offering and attract FDI to every county in Ireland, this Budget includes €6.4 million to sell Ireland as an attractive location for investment. This Budget demonstrates Government’s continued commitment to support businesses through the challenges of the past year and half and also looks ahead to the opportunities that will enable us to move with certainty into economic recovery.”

Overall, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment’s core budget has increased by €103 million or 13.2% on Budget 2021. This is a record core allocation for the Department and will significantly bolster the ability of the Department, working with its Offices and Agencies, to help businesses to rebuild and grow after the pandemic.

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