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Dublin needs better public transport, says business group

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The Government has been urged to use its large budget surplus to improve Dublin’s transport infrastructure.

“With 140,000 commuters heading to Dublin for work, the city’s commuter belt in the Greater Dublin Area and beyond needs better public transport – this includes Dart+ and MetroLink, as well as rail and bus projects further from the city in places like Naas, Bray and Navan,” Dublin Chamber chief executive Mary Rose Burke said.

“These public transport projects along with investment in water, energy capacity and housing are vital to ensure that Dublin and the wider metropolitan region around Dublin remains an attractive location to live in, to work and to run a business,” she said in a pre-budget submission.

Ms Burke said the impact of those commuting to jobs in Dublin from outside the traditional county lines were continually understated. She said the lack of housing had also become a major blockage for recruitment and retention for the businesses it represented.

“In Budget 2024 we need Government to ensure that affordable housing continues to come on stream. Mobilising vacant and underused property is crucial to increasing housing supply,” she said.

“This requires active land management by the Government, including measures to increase the holding cost of vacant, zoned land for residential development, and encourage timely delivery of homes to the market,” she said.

Ms Burke said the chamber welcomed the introduction from 2024 of a Residential Zoned Land Tax, but believed “that starting from a low base of 3 per cent taxation may not be sufficient”.

“In Budget 2024 we are calling on Government to introduce a measure that, if after 12 months at 3 per cent, land still remains vacant, that this levy would increase to 6 per cent for the following year.”

In its submission, the business group also advised the Government to introduce a new 20 per cent rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on investments in small and medium enterprises. “Growing Ireland’s indigenous business base will require greater investment in SMEs,” Ms Burke said.

“Small business are the backbone of the Irish economy and have the largest share of employment. By lowering CGT on investments, it will allow investors to view SMEs favourably and help start-ups particularly to access much-needed finance in the early stages of their growth,” she said.

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