SFA chairwoman calls for tax revamp

3rd January 2017 | News

Sue O’Neill, chairwoman of the Small Firms Association (SFA), wants the Irish government to lead its 2017 agenda with amendments to the nation’s tax code.

Ireland’s small firms are anticipated to create an additional 20,000 jobs in 2017, with the aim of maintaining and improving the country’s competitiveness.

“In order for this job creation to be realised, however, concrete steps are needed from Government,” said O’Neill.

“Competitiveness is all the more critical in light of Brexit and tax competitiveness should be the top priority in the coming year.

“By creating a real pro-business tax system and making sure that work always pays, employees, small businesses and society as a whole will be better off.”

The SFA wants the Government to entirely equalise the earned income tax credit for the self-employed with the PAYE tax credit.

In addition, the SFA believes a comparable marginal tax regime to that used in the UK. Currently the marginal rate of tax takes effect at €34,000, while in the UK the top marginal rate of tax applies only to those earnings in excess of £150,000.

Ms O’Neill said the SFA’s members are excited about the prospect of 3.7 per cent growth in the Irish economy, with almost two-thirds of its 8,500-strong membership looking to hire more employees in 2017.

“It has been a rollercoaster year for small businesses. It began with optimism about the broadening and deepening recovery, but issues such as Brexit and emerging wage demands have shaken business confidence,” said O’Neill.

“As the year draws to a close, only half of small businesses feel that the business environment is improving.”