Tuesday, 9 October 2018

    Increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit welcomed
    Government fails to address the growing competitiveness concerns of small firms
    Budget silent on Capital Gains Tax competitiveness with UK
The Small Firms Association (SFA) has today welcomed the increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit announced as part of Budget 2019 but expressed disappointment with the missed opportunity to relieve business costs on small firms and maintain competitiveness as Brexit approaches.

SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens, stated: “The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the self-employed has come closer to parity with the PAYE Tax Credit, with today’s announcement of an increase of €200 to €1350. However, the blatant discrimination that was due to end in Budget 2018 has still not come to fruition; the SFA will continue to campaign for the gap between EITC, and the PAYE Credit (€1650) to close fully in next year’s Budget.

“It is regrettable that the Government has again ignored the SFA’s call to reduce Capital Gains Tax (CGT), to 20% across the board, to make investing in a business in Ireland more attractive. At 33%, Ireland has one of the highest rates of CGT amongst developed economies. It is disappointing that the Government has decided against introducing measures which would stimulate economic activity and add to our competitiveness. The SFA is also calling for CGT Entrepreneur Relief to be extended to compete with the UK scheme,” continued Sven Spollen-Behrens.

“Budget 2019 will further increase business costs for small businesses with the decisions to raise the National Training Fund levy and to increase the special 9% VAT rate which previously supported the tourism industry. With the continuing uncertainty of Brexit, it is very discouraging that government continues to play a significant role in driving business costs upwards.

Mr Spollen-Behrens concluded: “Whilst we welcome the Government’s enhanced investment in Brexit measures, housing, childcare and the amendments to the Key Employment Engagement Programme, we call on the Government to engage with the SFA with a view to developing a ‘Small Business Strategy' that will enable small business to thrive. As the economy continues to grow it’s important that we seize the opportunity to support home grown enterprises and stand behind those individuals who take the risk to start their own business”


For further queries and interviews, please contact Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA Director, on 087 160 9403 or sven@sfa.ie

Alternatively, contact:
Sue O’Neill, SFA Chair and Managing Director of Shellcove, on 087 901 3311
Elizabeth Bowen, SFA Senior Executive, on 0
87 1882951 or elizabeth.bowen@ibec.ie


A full copy of the SFA’s pre-Budget 2019 submission is available

The SFA proudly represents a diverse membership of businesses with less than 50 employees; homegrown and spanning every sector of our economy. Our members can be found in every town and every city in Ireland. Its vision is of Ireland being the most vibrant small business community in the world - supporting entrepreneurship, valuing small businesses and rewarding risk takers. Its mission is to be the trusted partner of small businesses in Ireland, to deliver business-focused advice and insights to member companies, influence government policy to the benefit of small businesses and connect its members in a thriving community.

98% of all businesses in Ireland are small firms (less than 50 employees) and one in every two people working in the private sector is employed by a small business. They account for one third of the value of the Irish economy and of business investment. Small firms are also key to the vibrancy of our regions, as they represent more than half of total employment in 21 counties.