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Government urged to rethink TBESS benefit cap

More details of the Government's Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme have become available.

 

A monthly cap on the relief of €10,000 per trade or profession applies. However, where a qualifying business operates across more than one location increased relief may be available subject to a monthly cap of €30,000.

A monthly cap on the relief of €10,000 per trade or profession applies. However, where a qualifying business operates across more than one location increased relief may be available subject to a monthly cap of €30,000.

The Scheme is being introduced to provide support for businesses that have experienced a significant increase in their electricity and natural gas costs.

The Scheme falls under the European Commission Temporary Crisis Framework and is subject to State Aid approval. It applies to tax-compliant businesses carrying out a trade or profession and it also applies to new businesses.

A monthly cap on the relief of €10,000 per trade or profession applies. However, where a qualifying business operates across more than one location increased relief may be available subject to a monthly cap of €30,000.

The scheme will be administered by the Revenue Commissioners on a self-assessment basis and runs from the 1st of September to the 31st of December with the intention to extend it to the 28th of February 2023 subject to the anticipated extension of the TCF.

“This looks pretty straightforward and sensible, based on a 50% increase on unit costs for a comparable month a year ago,” commented LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe, “If you qualify, you get a grant of 40% of the increased costs up to maximum of €10,000 a month.”

But he would have liked it to be higher (50:50 for example).

The TBESS announced by Government in the Budget will certainly help, agreed Vintners Federation of Ireland Chief Executive Paul Clancy.

“While TBESS is welcome we remain sceptical that it will be enough for our members to get through the Winter,” he told Drinks Industry Ireland, “As things stand the scheme is set to end in February, which we argue is way too early. All the experts say the energy crisis will continue for the foreseeable future so our members will require support until the crisis ends.”

However in response to the publishing of the Finance Bill Retail Ireland, the Ibec group representing the retail sector, warned that the TBESS will not provide effective support for many retail businesses managing dramatic energy cost hikes.

The group welcomed the fact that the scheme will provide meaningful support to businesses operating a small number of outlets but the value of the scheme will be much more limited if a business has to spread the supports across a larger network of stores.

“While the €30,000 monthly cap in energy supports is significant, for many businesses managing unprecedented energy costs across numerous sites, it will not be enough to ease the pressure,” said Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon recently, “The cap should be raised and additional support offered to businesses where their viability is under threat.

“Designing and tailoring an energy support package for the wide range of businesses across the economy is not straightforward but it must be far-reaching and equitable given the scale of the challenges that many companies, large and small, are now facing. Each individual shop should have equitable access to government support packages,” he concluded.

 

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