Small Firms Association Budget 2019 submission

Monday, 20 August 2018

    Supporting small businesses would mitigate Ireland’s over-reliance on FDI
    Budget 2019 should impose no extra costs on small firms
    Government has nothing to lose from capital gains tax overhaul

Launching the Small Firms Association’s Budget 2019 submission, Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA Director, said: “Budget 2019 must focus on the small businesses in Ireland and support this important sector to fulfil its potential. In doing so, the Government would reduce the risk on our economy from over reliance on foreign direct investment while seizing an important opportunity to future proof our economic model.

“The SFA is calling for a whole-of-government national Small Business Strategy, with a roadmap towards significant policy goals: increased productivity, export diversification etc. Immediate changes in Budget 2019 would support the achievement of these goals.”

Mr Spollen-Behrens stated: “Ireland’s competitiveness is under threat. Government must ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated by allowing business costs to become unsustainable in a period of economic growth. At a time when positivity among small businesses is at its lowest since the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, it is vital that no measures that impose additional costs on small companies are introduced.”

At 33%, Ireland has one of the highest rates of capital gains tax (CGT) amongst developed economies. The SFA is calling for a reduction in CGT to 20% across the board, to make investing in a business in Ireland more attractive. CGT represents only 1% of the Government’s tax revenue, so there is very little to lose by reducing the rate, but the benefits could be significant. The SFA is also calling for CGT Entrepreneur Relief to be extended to compete with the UK scheme.

Mr Spollen-Behrens concluded: “Supporting small businesses would mitigate some of Ireland’s current vulnerabilities and create a true entrepreneurial culture with benefits for entrepreneurs, employees and communities.”

Small business priorities for Budget 2019:
    1. Protect competitiveness by ensuring that Budget 2019 does not impose additional costs on small businesses
    2. Reduce the headline rate of CGT to 20% for all
    3. Increase the lifetime limit for CGT Entrepreneur Relief to €15 million
    4. Increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to €1650 to equal the PAYE tax credit
    5. Introduce measures to boost the viability of residential property construction


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

Issued by Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director,, 01 6051626 / 087 1472811.


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. The SFA submission is based on our knowledge and experience of the small business community which employs half of the private sector workforce.

More information about the SFA is available at or on Twitter @SFA_Irl