Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (309)

Mairéad Farrell

Ceist:

309. Deputy Mairéad Farrell asked the Minister for Finance if a group (details supplied) has advised on Covid-19 related expenditure measures. [27348/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

In relation to the Deputy's question, I would like to begin by noting that the IFSC Clearing House Group no longer exists.  In its place there is the ‘Joint Committee’ which was established under IFS2020: A Strategy for Ireland’s International Financial Services Sector 2015–2020. The Joint Committee consists of two committees which have continued into the Ireland for Finance strategy, the public service High Level Implementation Committee (HLIC) and the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC). The Chair of the Joint Committee is the Minister of State in the Department of Finance. Further details have been provided on this change in PQ REF 27347/20.

Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, the Ireland for Finance Joint Committee held a meeting in May 2020. At this meeting, discussions were held around the resilience of the international financial services sector and how the public and private stakeholders had responded to Covid-19.

It is understood from stakeholder feedback that the early signs are that the IFS sector has been fairly resilient to the impact of Covid-19 but the true impact won’t be clear until at least the end of the year.

With the onset of the pandemic, the enterprise agencies of IDA and Enterprise Ireland have engaged in an extensive, country-wide client outreach programme to offer support to businesses during this difficult period. This involved virtual bilateral engagements with companies, as well as virtual group meetings to share experiences around working safely and effectively during the pandemic and to discuss best practice with regard to returning to the office. It was important that the IFS sector was included as an ‘essential service’ early on and the transition to working from home went relatively seamlessly for most companies.

Having said that, FDI is not immune to Covid-19, and IDA are dealing with supply and demand shocks.

Enterprise Ireland has been working on connecting companies to financial supports is part of their stabilisation process. EI’s overseas offices have been offering guidance on the different markets and how things are shifting.

As work gets underway to develop Action Plan 2021, there will be engagment with the public and private stakeholders on the Joint Committee to consider what measures may assist the national recovery and minimise Covid 19 impacts.

The minutes of the public sector High-level Implementation Committee and the Joint Committee meetings are published on the Department of Finance website once agreed by the Joint Committee members at their next meeting on Tuesday, 29th September.