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Waterford TD doubts government supports for businesses

Independent TD for Waterford Matt Shanahan believes the government's energy support scheme won't go far enough.

The TBESS scheme announced in Budget 2023 that it will allow businesses claim back 40% of the increase in their energy bills.

Speaking to the Taoiseach during Leaders Questions in the Dail, Deputy Shanahan called for a more ambitious and aggressive approach.

He has asked that a business task force be assembled to study the unfolding crisis in the SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) sector.

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Taoiseach Mícheál Martin stated that he believes businesses are being adequately supported, highlighting a number of schemes and supports.

He said that the agri food sector is greatly supported, adding that SME producers can avail of a €1.2 billion credit guarantee scheme.

He added that €4 million was given to Local Enterprise Offices for micro enterprises. This will allow them to avail of a capital grant for energy efficiency.

Matt used an example of a Waterford business' energy bills. The business in question saw their bills rise by €37,000 a month this year.

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"He has told me that the second last thinig he wishes is for his business to close. The last thing he wishes is for him and his family to go broke " Deputy Shanahan said.

He used this as an example to highlight how the temporary business support schemes will not go far enough, in his opinion.

If the business closes, 45 jobs would be at risk, but again the Taoiseach said there are wide-ranging supports available to vulnerable businesses.

Mícheál Martin outlined a €200 million enterprise scheme that supports manufacturers and  exporters, but couldn't guarantee that the business Deputy Shanahan was speaking about could benefit from this.

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