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SFA want measures to help competitiveness in Budget 2019

Wednesday, 22nd August, 2018 4:31pm

Supporting small businesses would mitigate Ireland’s over-reliance on FDI say the Small Firms Association (SFA), who launched their Budget 2019 submission this week.

The SFA represents 8,500 small Irish businesses and has advocated that Budget 2019 should impose no extra costs on small firms.

Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA Director, said: “Budget 2019 must focus on the small businesses in Ireland and support this important sector to fulfil its potential. In doing so, the Government would reduce the risk on our economy from over reliance on foreign direct investment while seizing an important opportunity to future proof our economic model.

“The SFA is calling for a whole-of-government national Small Business Strategy, with a roadmap towards significant policy goals: increased productivity, export diversification etc. Immediate changes in Budget 2019 would support the achievement of these goals.”

Mr Spollen-Behrens added that “Ireland’s competitiveness is under threat. The Government must ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated by allowing business costs to become unsustainable in a period of economic growth. At a time when positivity among small businesses is at its lowest since the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, it is vital that no measures that impose additional costs on small companies are introduced.”

At 33 per cent, Ireland has one of the highest rates of capital gains tax (CGT) amongst developed economies, the SFA said. It is calling for a reduction in CGT to 20 per cent across the board, to make investing in a business in Ireland more attractive. CGT represents only one per cent of the Government’s tax revenue, so according to the organisation, there is very little to lose by reducing the rate, but the benefits could be significant.

The SFA is also calling for CGT Entrepreneur Relief to be extended to compete with the UK scheme.

Mr Spollen-Behrens concluded: “Supporting small businesses would mitigate some of Ireland’s current vulnerabilities and create a true entrepreneurial culture with benefits for entrepreneurs, employees and communities.”

It also called on the Government to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to €1,650 to equal the PAYE tax credit and to introduce measures to boost the viability of residential property construction.

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