Business group Ibec has called on the Government to increase investment in research and development and to bring forward planned investment in childcare.

The proposals are contained in Ibec's Pre-Budget Submission, published today.

Ibec's pre-Budget submission contains a range of proposals which it believes will bolster the economy's competitiveness as it emerges from the pandemic.

It supports the increase in the Government's capital spending plans but warns they will only be sustainable if the conditions are right for businesses to continue to grow.

The business group said it wants an increase in incentives for investment in research and development, particularly for small and medium sized companies.

It wants to see the 9% VAT rate for tourism businesses extended until the end of 2023, while it also supports the continuation of "warehousing" or deferral of taxes for business.

Ibec also said tt wants to see a €1,000 increase in the entry point to the higher rate of income tax and to index link increases to general wage inflation in future budgets.

Speaking on Morning Ireland this morning, Ibec's chief economist Gerard Brady said there is a need to bolster the economy's competitiveness as it emerges from the pandemic.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Mr Brady said the the Government has already launched a new national development plan for housing and it also has big ambitions in terms of lowering the country's emissions over the coming years.

"In order to be able to follow through with all of those ambitions over the coming years, we're going to need to see increased investment in the competitiveness of Irish businesses and in the productivity of Irish businesses to make sure that they continue to grow, our members continue to grow and then deliver the tax receipts the government will need," Mr Brady said.

"If you don't have those two things working at the same time neither will be deliverable and they are possible to do together if you ensure that businesses are competitive and continue to grow by investing in skills and investing in innovation and areas like digitalisation," he added.