ISME: Government must 'think small first'

1st August 2016

The Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) issued a pre-budget statement last week, calling on the Government to ‘think small first’ as part of its Budget 2017, placing greater emphasis on SME owners and their employees.

ISME wants a complete end to tax discrimination of the self-employed community, along with a reduction in red tape barriers around small business research and development, employee share options and Capital Gains Tax on entrepreneurs.

Mark Fielding, chief executive, ISME, said at the launch of the Association’s submission: “Ireland needs to grow its own entrepreneurs. We need to use our tax system more effectively to draw on the increasingly large pool of Irish-born managers, skilled professionals, and entrepreneurs working both at home and overseas.

“When compared to other jurisdictions, the tax regime in Ireland is extremely uncompetitive. It is now very difficult to attract entrepreneurs to establish and grow a business in Ireland.”

The submission states that current tax schemes are too complex and expensive for SMEs and also cites a competitive disadvantage between entrepreneurs and PLCs when it comes to hiring and rewarding key talent.

The ISME believes the tax code was written with large multinationals at the forefront of their mind, with SMEs discriminated against throughout the tax system – either directly through tax allowances or via the in-built issues arising from sections which have been written to suit bigger businesses.

“The ISME pre-Budget submission focuses on encouraging SME business to start-up and grow, incentivising enterprise, which will stimulate job creation,” added Fielding.

“The advice to government is to nurture small business through the tax system, which will have positive payback through jobs and tax take.”

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