CHAMBERS representing businesses that directly support over 100,000 jobs across the Mid-Wet and West have united in one voice in a submission to government today for supports to help Shannon Airport navigate the current crisis and establish a new model for aviation in Ireland.The submission from Ennis, Galway, Limerick and Shannon chambers, which collectively represents 1,358 businesses across the Shannon Airport catchment, the proposals have been forwarded today to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan ahead of a meeting sought by the group with him last week.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The chambers, in their joint submission, state that the ability of firms located in Ireland to do business internationally, and the attractiveness of Ireland for foreign firms, labour, and tourists depends on aviation. “As such, the business community in the Mid-West and West of Ireland is deeply concerned following recent decisions by Delta and United Airlines not to resume flights from Shannon Airport in 2021.“These concerns have been further exacerbated by recent reports regarding the potential transfer of Aer Lingus aircraft serving routes to the US and UK away from Shannon Airport to alternative UK regional airports,” the submission states.The chambers say that Ireland’s travel restrictions are among the most restrictive in Europe and the longer these restrictions are in place, the greater the risk they pose to our competitiveness and future economic recovery.“While the business communities of the Mid-West and West appreciate that public health advice must take priority, we cannot ignore the fact that government-imposed travel restrictions are forcing airlines to make decisions that will have severe repercussions for regional economies. It is now time for the government to intervene and provide a support package for stricken airlines in order to ensure our connectivity into the future.”The chambers call on government to adopt a strategic approach to support for airlines that are struggling to cope with the impact of COVID-19 and to follow the footsteps of Austria and France by ensuring that any support package has strong environmental conditions attached.They also urge Minister Ryan to take the opportunity to advance the main objective of Project Ireland 2040 through the attachment of binding conditions for strategic route development into regional airports that will assist in addressing the regional economic imbalances.They outline seven asks that cover both the current crisis and the need to adopt new aviation policy measures that will enable growth at airports in the regions, in line with the objectives of Project Ireland 2040.The specific asks are:As soon as public health advice allows, implement fully the recommendations of the Aviation Recovery TaskforceProvide support packages for airlines who will maintain and develop routes from Irish regional airports. Any such supports should have conditionalities attached regardingNew route development into strategic markets to strengthen regional airport connectivityTargets on carbon emission reductionsIn support of Regional Spatial Economic Strategy, undertake an assessment of economic activity around regional airports to identify the strategic routes that present the highest economic value for the corresponding regional economiesAlign the Regional Airports Programme with EU criteria so that both Shannon and Cork airports can access capital supportsAlign National Aviation Policy with Project Ireland 2040 and strengthen the role of airports as key strategic assets for balanced regional development. The business communities call for the establishment of an independent body with statutory oversight for balanced air traffic development across the Irish airport network.Specifically relating to operations at Shannon Airport, the chamber further requests the government to:Urgently appoint Chair to lead Shannon GroupIn addition to direct Government funding, allow cross subsidisation to use profits from other divisions within the group in support of strategic route and cargo operations development to ensure the long term-viability of Shannon Airport.“The critical importance of Transatlantic and European routes with Aer Lingus into Shannon airport cannot be overstated,” the submission states. “This connectivity to other markets is vital for FDI and indigenous businesses operating across Industry and Tourism in the Mid-West and West.“As we continue to navigate through the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, we urge the Minister to ensure that these links to vital markets are protected and new routes developed in support of economic recovery.” Previous articleWATCH: Bermingham “thrilled with result, not so much the performance”Next article#ThrowbackThursday: This week’s look back at our Out & About photos Meghann Scully Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Facebook WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Advertisement Email Twitter Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live LimerickNewsChambers unite in support of Shannon AirportBy Meghann Scully – September 10, 2020 188 TAGSKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick PostShannon airport Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Linkedin WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Print Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener
A Dutch advisory board has suggested that pensions red tape for flexible workers and the self-employed could be cut significantly through improved communication, the merger of sectors, and automatic value transfer for small pension claims.In a letter to Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs, the board (Actal) recommended widening sectors with single pension arrangements in order to limit the number of value transfers and redemptions of pension rights.Actal said it reached its conclusions – based on a survey by KPMG – following signals from flexible workers and companies about the increasing complexity of pension rules and the lack of insight into accrued pension claims.It pointed out that flexible workers and the self-employed already made up 31% of the working population, and that this percentage was still increasing. According to Actal, red tape could also be reduced through a mandatory value transfer for pension claims of less than €451 a year, which currently cannot be redeemed.It recommended allowing pension providers to redeem, or write off, pension amounts of a few euros as soon as somebody leaves a job.This would decrease costs and positively affect pension contributions, as well as investment returns, it argued.Actal also recommended showing all first and second-pillar information in a single digital portal – the current Pensions Register – to cut back the overabundance of information provision.The advisory board also suggested an adjustment of legislation to allow for a better match between the contributions of the 48,000 self-employed, who still participate in mandatory industry-wide schemes, and their fluctuating income.Actal stressed that its recommendations would require not only legal changes but the commitment of pension funds and insurers.The Pensions Federation said it could not yet respond to Actal’s recommendations.