SFA Calls for End to Discrimination of Self-Employed

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

SFA Calls for end to Discrimination of Self-Employed

SFA 3-Point Plan will drive Entrepreneurship & Job Creation

The Chairman of the Small Firms Association, AJ Noonan, has today launched its campaign to have the Government end discrimination against self-employed and Proprietary Directors in the tax and social welfare systems in 2015. “There is a real need to support people in embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, as without the risk-taker / the owner-manager, no jobs can be created. Therefore it is important that they are at least treated equally if not indeed more preferentially than employees”, commented Mr AJ Noonan.

Specifically, the SFA is advocating the introduction of its 3-Point Plan by Government:

Introduce a voluntary PRSI rate for the self-employed
“This should enable them to claim unemployment benefit should their business fail and would alleviate some of the risk associated with starting up a business. The scheme should run on an opt-in basis for already established businesses”, commented Mr AJ Noonan.

Tax treatment of self-employed / Proprietary Directors and employees must be equalised
“Specifically the additional 3% USC on earnings above €100,000 for self-employed must be abolished. This was promised by the end of 2014, but the Government failed to deliver on this commitment in Budget 2015”, stated Mr AJ Noonan. “In addition, the PAYE tax credit should be available to all who pay tax on a PAYE basis. Currently a self-employed person on €15000 is 6 times worse off than the equivalent employee, because of this discrimination”, noted Mr AJ Noonan.

A unique CGT rate should be introduced for entrepreneur’s selling their business
“For example, in the UK, you only pay 10% CGT if you sell or close all or part of a business, on condition you've held the share for at least a year and you are a director, partner or employee in the business. The existence of such a scheme in our closest competitor economy means that business HQs here will be moved to the UK prior to sale with the consequent loss of jobs here. Introducing a comparable rate here would give a tremendous boost to business sale and acquisitions activity”, commented Mr AJ Noonan.

SFA Chairman, Mr AJ Noonan concluded by outlining the phenomenal job creation potential of Ireland’s small business community.
    143,266 small firms (less than 50 employees) employ 862,175
    An additional 49,195 people are self-employed
    Dublin, Cork and Galway lead the way for entrepreneurship with Leitrim, Longford & Roscommon at the lower end of the scale
    97% of all businesses are small; 84% are micro (less than 10 employees)

Mr AJ Noonan stated: “By focusing on the entrepreneurial sector, we can deliver real national and balanced regional growth. However this will only be possible if the Government implements our three-point plan”.


For interviews, please contact SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan at Tel: 086-2592610

Issued by: Patricia Callan, SFA Director, at Tel: 01 605 1602 or 087-6999345, e-mail: patricia.callan@sfa.ie, Twitter: @SFA_IRL