Two thirds of CEOs believe firms will pay more tax arising from pandemic – PwC
Almost two thirds of chief executives here believe that their companies will end up paying more tax as a result of policy changes to address rising debt levels arising from the pandemic.
It’s one of the findings in PwC’s latest Irish and Global CEO survey.
The company canvassed the views of over 5,000 company CEOs in 100 countries, including more than 150 chief executives here.
Ireland’s national debt is scheduled to rise to close to €240 billion by the end of this year as a result of the increased spend on economic supports for businesses and individuals who have been impacted by the pandemic.
63% of CEOs here surveyed by PwC believe that will result in taxation changes that will see the total tax obligation on their companies increasing.
Overall confidence has bounced back markedly among chief executives globally, according to the latest survey, but Irish CEOs are noticeably less confident than their global counterparts.
Over three quarters of CEOs worldwide said they were confident about the economic growth outlook, but just under half of Irish CEOs said they were feeling favourable about the outlook for Ireland’s economy in the year ahead, albeit up from a low of 16% in last year’s survey.
That’s despite the fact that Ireland’s economy was the only euro zone economy to register positive growth in 2020.
“Given that Ireland is very dependent on global trade, and with the complexities we are now seeing in certain areas following the Brexit Trade Agreement, it is not surprising that Irish CEOs are not as confident about the future as their global counterparts,” Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner with PwC said.
“With vaccines on the way, it still remains uncertain what the recovery will look like. But it is clear that we cannot go back simply to the way things were before.
Among the other challenges identified by CEOs here in the year ahead were cyber threats, climate change, the speed of technological change, supply chain disruption and readiness to respond to a crisis.
And despite being very upbeat about revenue growth expectations, CEOs here – as well as elsewhere – are still citing talent retention as a challenge.
“Having endured one of the most turbulent times in history, Irish CEOs are focused on growth and operational resilience. They realise that this growth won’t happen without having the right people with the right skills,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“A key consideration will also be how to continue adapting their businesses and deliver sustained outcomes in this rapidly changing external environment. Organisations that get this right will be best placed to come out of the pandemic as strong, resilient and productive businesses, able to withstand future shocks.”
58% of CEOs said they expected to increase headcount in the year ahead. That’s up from 39% last year and compares to a global average of 44% who expect to add to their workforce in 2021.