Dáil Éireann - Volume 430 - 11 May, 1993

Written Answers. - Clothing and Footwear Sector.

96. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Finance if, in view of his recent comments in relation to reducing PRSI levels for [1109] the clothing and footwear sector, he will give details of these proposals; and when they will be introduced.

Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern): Following my recent discussions with representative groups in the clothing and footwear sector, the Government has agreed that:

(1) Temporary assistance will be directed to manufacturing firms in the sector which can demonstrate that their viability and employment levels are threatened by the effect of the application of the standard rate of VAT to their domestic sales. The details of the assistance and the criteria for granting it will be announced shortly by the Minister for Enterprise and Employment.

(2) An urgent review is to be carried out in consultation with the Department of Social Welfare of the impact on low paid manufacturing firms of the operation of the employers' PRSI system.

(3) The criteria under which the IDA assist technological development in the clothing and footwear sector will be reviewed. In the meantime, the advice and assistance of the relevant State agencies will be focussed on the firms which are identified as being particularly at risk.

I will continue to monitor the situation and keep in touch with the sectors representing footwear, fashion manufacturing and retailing, led by IBEC.