How leading CEOs viewed Budget 2014

* Antoin Dempsey

Dublin Wine Rooms

The budget is bitter sweet for our industry. I am relieved at the retention of the 9 percent VAT on food but the increased duty on the wine is nothing short of a joke. It’s already the highest in Europe and this is the second increase in less than 12 months. It’s fermented grape juice, not liquid gold. Most wine drinkers are responsible, social drinkers and not binging or putting a strain on the health service.

* Alan Foy

CEO, Blueface

The measures announced in the Budget by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, TD, in supporting business and entrepreneurship are to be welcomed. We strongly support the new Start Your Own Business and Build Your Business schemes and the related measures announced, along with the tax credits announced for outsourced research and development.

* Ronan Colleran

Managing Director, Accreate

The ‘elephant in the room’ of the unfavourable tax regime for high earners in Ireland has not been addressed at all in this Budget, either in a general sense or through enhancements of specific programmes such as the Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP). As a result, we will continue to see senior business leaders leaving our shores and we will continue to lose out in attracting top level executives from abroad to other competing jurisdictions which have more favourable tax regimes.

* Shane Deasy

Managing Director, Bitbuzz

A number of initiatives have been announced in support of the small and medium enterprise sector, which will encourage entrepreneurs and business people to both start businesses and to grow existing businesses.

The measures announced by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD in support of education, training and work experience are also to be welcomed.”

* Goretti Brady

Managing Director, Lloyds Pharmacy Ireland

With a network of 74 pharmacies in local communities throughout Ireland, LloydsPharmacy is very disappointed that the Government has so significantly increased the prescription charge fee to €2.50 per prescribed product which puts unwelcome pressure on those who are ill and could negatively impact patient compliance with medicine. We need to improve healthcare not hinder it.”

* Stephen Leddy

Managing Director, Hidden Hearing

I was shocked to see a rise in the cost of prescription charges, which will impact significantly on the elderly. In our branch network across Ireland, we hear first-hand the hardship that many elderly people face and it is disturbing to think that this will increase due to increases in the price of vital medicines.”

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