Government told ‘don’t add to cost of employment’

The vast majority of employers are opposed to any further increases in employment costs, while Eddie Hobbs is seeking to have contracts surrounding Irish oil and gas exploration reformed, according to the latest pre-budget submissions.

The Institute of Directors in Ireland has called on the Government to shift the burden of €3.1bn in taxes and cuts off the shoulders of business.

Chief executive of the institute, Maura Quinn, said that after the last few tough budgets Irish businesses couldn’t bear any further cuts.

“After many years of austerity budgets that have relied mainly on cuts and taxes, it is time for the Government to look at longer-term solutions to address Ireland’s financial difficulties through better controls of its own spending, tackling high unemployment and supporting businesses to realise their potential.

“The Government must recognise that short-term gains through taxation measures may well be offset by longer-term difficulties as more businesses in Ireland come under pressure,” Ms Quinn said.

A survey of members of the institute found that the three least popular budget measures in recent years had been changes to employee PRSI, the increase in the standard rate of Vat and the increase in capital gains tax.

The institute was strong in its criticism of any PRSI increase which they said makes a mockery of all the job-creation programmes.

“It is counter-intuitive to, on one-hand, allocate considerable expenditure to stimulate jobs growth and, on the other, to increase the cost of employment. Adjusting for purchasing power parity, Ireland already has the fifth highest minimum wage in the EU,” the institute said.

In another pre-budget submission a group involving Eddie Hobbs, Own Our Oil, has urged the Government to look at taxation on the re-sale of Irish exploration licences.

Own Our Oil is described as an advocacy group which, later this year, will release a book compiled by a multi-disciplinary team of experts, mapping a new national strategy for Irish oil and gas.

Mr Hobbs said that they had decided to make the pre-budget submission as they believe that the current situation urgently needs to be corrected.

“Failure to act swiftly to tighten the tax on the flipping of Irish oil and gas licences for hundreds of millions euro could rank as one of the greatest financial blunders made by this or any other Government.

“Not to do so in October’s budget may elevate Ireland’s callow oil and gas policy to an issue of considerable public unease should the window close shortly thereafter to recover supernormal profits from existing licence holders,” the group said.


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