Welcome Message


Dear member,


A significant feature of Ireland’s strong economic story in 2018 has been a surge in corporation tax receipts. Ibec has championed the analysis that Ireland’s business model – one based on substance – is attracting new forms of global investment which in turn leads to spectacular rises in corporation taxes.

We are lobbying Government to use the recurring corporate tax receipt surge for greater infrastructure investment rather than into current expenditure as is currently the case.

Another trend, however, is also emerging in the Irish economy. Costs are rising and competitiveness in the business environment is eroding.

Looking into 2019, it is imperative that Ireland uses the proceeds of corporation taxes wisely, while simultaneously tackling rising costs that stem from a long-standing infrastructural deficit.

Danny McCoy


Regional Insights: Strong member engagement



  • Cost and competitiveness agenda the major theme for 2019
  • Members seek timely delivery of National Development Plan
  • Ibec meets over 800 business leaders



Ibec’s autumn regional insights series is by far the most significant member engagement opportunity in the Ibec calendar with over 800 business leaders attending in seven locations across Ireland. Throughout the series, Ibec’s campaigns Better Lives, Better Business and Smarter World, Smarter Work underpinned discussions, but more importantly the series provides a platform for the Ibec Executive to listen to its membership on the challenges facing the regions and opportunities that we need to grasp.


On the cost and competitiveness agenda, this will certainly be the major theme for 2019. Fiscal sustainability and the risks associated with corporate tax receipts funding current expenditure growth dominated discussions. Concerns around rising insurance and energy costs, the impact of Brexit and an EU without the UK arose time and time again.


In the area of workplace and labour market, retaining and attracting talent, increased absenteeism and lack of capacity and investment in higher education were just some of the re-occurring themes.


Finally, investment and infrastructure, deep frustration with the planning system, connectivity in the broadest sense and the need for stronger urban regional centres were the topics du jour. A consistent message heard back was the need for the quick and timely delivery of National Development Plan priorities. This feedback is crucial in shaping our lobbying objectives to enable Ibec to best support and grow Irish business.


We derive our strength and influence from our broad membership base, from right across the country and from all sectors of the economy. Ibec has ambitious plans for 2019 to activate our campaign messages and your experiences are critical in bringing this to life with government and other decision makers. If you didn’t get an opportunity to attend the events, we podcasted from Galway and Limerick which you can listen to here.


Pictured marking the launch of the series is Director of Employer Relations of Ibec, Maeve McElwee; Managing Director of Gas Networks Ireland, Denis O'Sullivan; Head of Business Marketing of Three Ireland, Nicola Mortimer; and Director of Policy and Public Affairs of Ibec, Fergal O'Brien.

'No deal' planning for Brexit ramps up



  • Call on Government to fast-track plans
  • New enterprise fund sought for short-term financing
  • Members can contact Ibec for information



The inability of the UK government to get parliamentary support for the Brexit withdrawal agreement is a massive concern. Last week, Ibec called on Government and the EU to escalate Brexit ‘no deal’ planning.


This is still not the most likely outcome, but time is short. If the UK crashes out of the EU, there will be immediate and far-reaching negative economic consequences for Ireland and Irish business. Efforts must focus on avoiding this outcome. In the meantime, the Irish government and the EU institutions must set out in detail their plans for a possible disorderly UK exit.


An extended transition period is vital in all circumstances, including ‘no deal’. Ireland’s unique economic exposure to Brexit will also demand very specific treatment. Ibec has set out a series of key measures that Government would need to introduce in the case of ‘no deal’, these include:


• A new enterprise stabilisation fund, to provide short-term financing support for affected companies

• Direct capital, marketing and innovations support for firms reorienting into new markets beyond the UK

• Allowing companies to claim VAT as an input credit, at the same time as declaring their liability, to minimise cashflow needs

• New trade support measures, including further export trade financing and export credit guarantees


We are facing into a period of enormous uncertainty for businesses exposed to Brexit risks. Ibec is working to represent your interests and support you as you plan for all eventualities. Our guide to Brexit, which includes an updated issue tracker, sets out the many issues that a ‘no deal’ scenario presents.


Companies looking for more information on how a ‘no deal’ would affect their trade to and through the UK in a ‘no deal’ scenario can email Ibec Trade and International Affairs Executive Doreen Burke at doreen.burke@ibec.ie 

Ibec in images

"No other country on earth matches the relative global footprint of business substance as Ireland does today. The achievements have been truly immense and Ibec is pleased to have been a contributor to that success by being the voice of Irish business throughout."


Ibec CEO Danny McCoy accepting accepting the Business & Finance award celebrating the outstanding achievement of Ibec over the last 25 years and its contribution to Irish business.

Given the uncertainties facing business, strong communication and engagement with government is crucial. In November, Ibec was fortunate to host discussions on global trends with former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. 


She is pictured alongside Ibec President Paraic Curtis. 

For over four years of the Brexit debate, Ibec has been working with the Irish Cabinet, Government officials in Dublin and Brussels, and subsequently with Michel Barnier’s team, to deliver the best possible outcome.


Last month, Tánaiste Simon Coveney T.D. engaged with Ibec members in our Dublin office, providing insights into the latest Brexit developments.

The inability of the UK government to get parliamentary support for the Brexit withdrawal agreement is a massive concern. Last week, Ibec called on Government and the EU to escalate Brexit ‘no deal’ planning.


Ibec continues to be the voice of Irish business both nationally and internationally. Pictured is Ibec Director of European Affairs, Pat Ivory, speaking with BBC News reporter Sophie Long. 


Ibec Director of Employer Relations, Maeve McElwee addresses delegates at the Ibec HR Leadership Summit in Croke Park.


In advance of the summit, Ibec published its annual HR Update 2018 including the results of a comprehensive new pay and resourcing survey that showed 80% of companies plan to increase basic pay in 2019.


In November, Ibec was in Vienna to represent Irish Business at the BusinessEurope Council of Ministers. Amongst the issues addressed were the latest developments in Brexit, the future of energy and trade. 

“Good regulation on corporate governance shouldn’t stifle growth; it should enhance it."


Ibec Deputy CEO/COO, Liam O'Donoghue, speaking at a joint seminar between Ibec and Matheson on Corporate Governance.  

Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft, joined Ibec to provide his insights into US-Ireland business relations, acknowledging the mutually beneficial relationship enjoyed by Ireland and the US. 

Support grows for OECD approach to digital tax



  • Ibec welcomes latest moves at EcoFin
  • Multilateral approach to finding solutions gaining momentum
  • Growing support for stance adopted by Ireland



Ibec welcomed developments at the recent EcoFin Council of EU Finance Ministers, which suggests growing support for solving the challenges of taxation in a rapidly digitising economy through the OECD/G20 BEPS process. Our view is that a progress from the OECD/G20 BEPS process is now quite likely and that this multilateral process should be allowed room to continue its important work under the Japanese Presidency of the G20 next year. A progress update from this work is due in early 2019.

In this context, the drive from some EU Member States towards unilateral solutions to the taxation of the digital economy has been a major concern for Irish business over recent times. Apart from constituting poor tax policy proposals, it is clear to us that the previous rushed unilateral proposals would have undercut efforts of 124 countries to arrive at coherent global solutions through the OECD/G20 BEPS process.

In addition, unilateral measures had the potential to play directly into the growing global trade tensions. Ireland is uniquely exposed to these threats given its open, globalised business model. Ibec has been vocal in our support for the strong and coherent position in support of multilateralism held by the Irish Government throughout recent months.

A new French/German proposal has been tabled for discussion at EU level over the coming months but will only now come into effect (if accepted) if the OECD/G20 process fails to deliver a conclusion. We look forward to working with the OECD, Government, and other stakeholders to making further progress on the OECD BEPS discussions on digital taxation over the coming year.

Plotting Ireland's carbon journey to 2050



  • New Government draft 10-year plan due in January
  • Ibec to publish roadmap to 2050
  • Members encouraged to participate in planning project


In January 2019, the Government will publish a draft 10-year plan setting out how Ireland will meet its commitments to reduce carbon emissions. Getting this plan right is crucial.

A poor plan will see an unequal share of the burden falling on business, higher energy costs, a weakening of national energy security and a hit to competitiveness. A good plan will see Ireland move from an overdependence on imported fossil fuels to a low carbon economy in a way that is cost effective, protects competitiveness and does not leave business behind. Such a plan would include supports for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, a switch to renewable fuels and maximising resource efficiency. The Government will launch a consultation on this draft plan in the new year.

To help shape this plan, Ibec will launch its very own low carbon transition roadmap early in January. This document will set out Ibec’s vision for the year 2050 and a viable pathway that Ireland can take in 2019 to realise this ambition. It will also identify the policy interventions needed to encourage behavioural changes and drive investment in energy efficiency, renewables, afforestation and other low carbon technologies.

The roadmap will be launched in February 2019 and is part of Ibec’s wider Better Lives, Better Business campaign. If you would like to know more about this project and get involved, please contact Conor Minogue on 01 605 1697 or conor.minogue@ibec.ie 

Irish universities campaign to boost higher education



  • ‘Save Our Spark’ campaign seeks new investment in higher education
  • 25,000 additional students entering the system over the next decade
  • Ireland is set to fall further behind in the international rankings



The Irish Universities Association (IUA) has launched a campaign to highlight the substantial state investment that will be required to accommodate 25,000 additional students entering the system over the next decade. Entitled ‘Save Our Spark’, the campaign highlights the need for resources to improve student access, for institutions to become centres of lifelong learning and to protect the reputation of Ireland’s research and innovation centres.

The campaign is closely aligned with Ibec’s own position on higher education funding. We have argued that following reductions in public expenditure on education over the last decade and with rising student numbers, Ireland is set to fall further behind its competitors in the international rankings for higher education unless decisive fiscal action is taken. Ibec believes monies from the Government’s so-called ‘rainy day’ fund should be redirected to higher education investment.


As part of the campaign, the IUA has also developed a charter, setting out six commitments to deliver a fit-for-purpose university system:

1. Build on the quality of the student experience in a digital age
2. Increase the scale, scope and impact of investment in research and innovation
3. Expand student access and increase engagement with communities and industry
4. Support a programme of staff development, increased equality and diversity
5. Create more flexible and accountable structures
6. Secure investment and resources to achieve our ambitions


Further information: www.saveourspark.ie

Ibec launches future of services report in Brussels


  • Event to promote the future of Irish trade in services
  • Further action needed to unlock EU market opportunities
  • Calls to refocus attention on the position of services in global trade


Ibec’s annual festive event for our Brussels-based stakeholders and friends of Irish business took place on Tuesday, 4 December. This year, over 100 guests joined our CEO, Danny McCoy, to celebrate the launch of the latest element of Ibec’s Brexit and future of Europe campaign. "Untapped potential: The future for Irish and EU services" explains the intrinsic nature and value of services to the Irish economy and calls for additional measures to advance the position of services in intra-EU, global and future EU-UK trade.


The debate on the future direction of the EU is a valuable platform to articulate the Irish business vision for the future of trade in services and Ibec’s campaign paper seeks to do just that with five key policy recommendations for the way forward.


With guests from the European Institutions, Irish and other Governments, business groups and several of our member companies, HE Ambassador Declan Kelleher, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the EU, gave an overview of Brexit developments before praising Ibec’s latest campaign as another important contribution to the EU policy process.


Ireland’s economic success depends on an outward-looking, dynamic and competitive EU – one that embraces change and is aligned with the needs of business and communities. We need an EU that champions innovation, supports entrepreneurial spirit and delivers growth. As the UK’s withdrawal nears, Ibec continues to work to make that future a reality.


Download the paper and learn more at www.ibec.ie/brexit


Want to join our EU mailing list in advance of future events and activities in Brussels? Get in touch: ibec.europe@ibec.ie


Pictured: Ibec’s Danny McCoy and Pat Ivory are joined by Ambassador Declan Kelleher, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the EU, at the launch of Untapped potential: The future for Irish and EU services in Brussels on 4 December.

Ibec Business Leaders Conference 2019


Join us at our annual Ibec Business Leaders Conference on Tuesday, 26 February 2019 at The Convention Centre Dublin.


Andrew Marr, Award Winning Journalist and Political Commentator will speak at this year’s conference and give his observations on UK and international politics.


This year’s conference will explore the following themes:

  • Better Lives, Better Business: Ireland’s competitiveness is being eroded by a range of problems that are damaging to the quality of life of our people, including rising congestion and housing shortages.
  • The future of Europe: A discussion on the UK’s new relationship with the world and the implications of wider geopolitical trends for Irish business.
  • The next phase of business sustainability: Businesses must increasingly demonstrate the positive societal and environmental impacts of their operations for the next generation of customers.
  • Safeguarding intangible assets: A cyber security attack would cause widespread disruption, reputational damage and compromise Ireland’s FDI. A critical issue, not just for domestic considerations but also due to the number of MNCs located here.

Book now and avail of the early bird rate of €450 + VAT. For group rates, please contact Ibec Events.


Visit http://www.ibecconference.ie for more information.

Ibec Webinar Series


Whether it is advice on HR practices, the latest insights on Brexit, guidance on topical HR management issues or Ibec initiation sessions for new members, Ibec Webinars provide support to your organisation.


Our webinars allow you to engage with our experts who can answer any questions you may have to make sure you get the best possible value from your membership.


To register your interest in any of our upcoming webinars, click here.