Capital gains tax policy dubbed ‘worst in world’

The Government must and will act to bring our capital gains tax (CGT) policy — which is one of the worst in the world — more in line with that of "civilised countries", according to one of the country’s most successful businessmen.

Seán O’Sullivan previously appeared on RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den and chaired the Entrepreneurship Forum. Its report formed the basis of the Government’s Entrepreneurship Plan unveiled earlier this week, which said that Irish policy was severely out of kilter with other developed economies.

The current tax regime is prohibitive to establishing new businesses and to raising capital for start-ups, Mr O’Sullivan explained.

“There will be action on the capital gains tax (CGT) issue, which does hinder the likelihood that people will be attracted to start companies in Ireland, and it does hinder the ability to raise capital for those businesses All of those things are bad, bad, bad things.

“We can absolutely point the finger to Ireland as having one of the worst capital gains tax policies in the world today — there’s no escaping that, so the Government needs to know that it’s responsible for its actions,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

Reducing CGT from 33% to a maximum of 25% or 26% would be a reasonable level, although further decreases would be more progressive, according to the former Dragon.

The rate, he added, need not fall as low as that in the UK where it stands at 10% — the same rate advocated by the Small Firms Association (SFA) yesterday.

Mr O’Sullivan added that it had yet to be realised by government that policy should be job-focused.


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