Budget 2015 ignored the needs of the self-employed and provided no support for entrepreneurship, the majority of business leaders believe.
A post-budget survey conducted by the Institute of Directors in Ireland shows that 54% believe the measures announced by Finance Minister Michael Noonan on Tuesday offer no support to entrepreneurs while a greater proportion, 71%, say the budget delivered no improvements for self-employed workers.
Despite the clear perception among company directors that Budget 2015 fell short of what was required in supporting entrepreneurship and self-employed workers, the majority believed it would deliver improvements for business and the domestic economy — and would boost international confidence in Ireland.
Most of those surveyed see the removal of the “double-Irish” tax loophole, favoured by many multinationals as a means of reducing their tax bill, as enhancing our international reputation. Commenting on the survey results, institute chief executive Maura Quinn said: “While Budget 2015 sends a clear signal that Ireland is open for business, it doesn’t go far enough in supporting entrepreneurs or the self-employed.
“The removal of the ‘double Irish’ will certainly promote confidence abroad in Ireland’s attractiveness as a place to do business, but at home, we also need to ensure that the full potential of our SME sector, entrepreneurs and self-employed business owners is realised in terms of their contributions to the economy and the potential for job-creation. Ireland is on its most solid footing since 2007, but we must still tread cautiously.”
In terms of the most positive measures for business in Budget 2015, directors signalled the re-affirmation of the 12.5% corporation tax rate, tax provisions to encourage the development of intellectual property and the establishment of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland which will make €500m of new credit available to Irish SMEs.
Additional measures that business leaders would like to have seen in the budget included a reduction in employer PRSI and a reduction in the top rate of Vat.
The abolition of the pension levy, which will be reduced to 0.15% next year before being discontinued for 2016, was also broadly welcomed.
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