Independents call for tax breaks for remote working

Independents call for tax breaks for remote working

Independent TD Denis Naughten, who said the tax break could help to future-proof the economy. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Regional Independent group are calling for tax breaks to encourage people to work from home.

Convener of the group, Denis Naughten, said an initiative like the bike-to-work scheme for computer equipment would encourage people to work remotely and take pressure away from congested cities.

"All we're trying to do here is to look at innovative ways to try and support people to work from home and to work remotely, or to study remotely," he said on Newstalk.

"Remember that society is changing and changing dramatically. We had to react initially to lockdown in very difficult circumstances.

"Now we have the opportunity to plan for this many staff who had to bring home desktops, use their own equipment, which is not good from a security point of view.

"So, the objective here is to ensure that staff and students have access to equipment with all of the correct safety software and that they can comfortably work from home, taking pressure from congested cities.

"Remember that we're borrowing, I think the estimate is, about €19bn. What we're talking about doing is putting a very small percentage of that into trying to change our economy, not just for tomorrow but right into the future, providing flexible workspaces and flexible time for staff to work, so that people are not commuting at long distances to work."

The group has also called for tax incentives for homeowners to make their home ready for the laying of the fibre-optic network, which is to be installed next year under the National Broadband Plan, including felling trees in order to speed up the delivery.

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