Budget 2016 will support Meath SMEs – Minister English

Budget begins equalisation of tax treatment between self-employed & PAYE workers

Damien English, Fine Gael TD for Meath West and the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation has said that Budget 2016 will support SMEs to grow and continue to create jobs in county Meath.

“Budget 2016 will support SMEs to grow and continue to create jobs. The introduction of a €550 self-employed tax credit marks a welcome start along the road to the equalisation of income tax credits between self-employed people and PAYE workers, addressing what was an unfair treatment of self-employed people in this country. The Earned Income Credit of €550 will be available to self-employed people who are ineligible for a PAYE credit on their salaries and will really benefit small retailers, publicans, farmers and tradesmen in Meath

“My Fine Gael colleagues and I recently ran a campaign called “Standing up for Small Business”, where we surveyed and held discussions with small businesses around the country. The need to equalise the tax treatment of the self-employed and PAYE workers was one of the biggest issues to arise out of that discussion, and I am delighted that the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has started this process today. This is a first step and if returned to Government we will complete tax equalisation for the self-employed in order to support job creators.

“I also know that Meath businesses wanted to see reductions in the general tax burden to help them to create employment. I welcome the cuts to the Universal Social Charge, meaning the marginal rate of tax for those earning below €70,000 will fall below 50% for the first time since 2009. Changes to the USC entry threshold will mean a total of 700,000 people will now be outside the USC net.

“Other measures in Budget 2016 to benefit small businesses owners in Meath include:

  • Revised Capital Gains tax relief for entrepreneurs, which will apply a reduced CGT rate of 20% to the disposal in whole or in part of a business up to a limit of €1 million in chargeable gains,
  • The 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector which will continue to assist small business owners working in the tourism sector, which has been such an integral part of our economic recovery,
  • Reduction in costs for retailers to accept card payments, saving retailers €36 million in fees per year and incentivising electronic payments,
  • The capping of motor tax at €900 per annum is significant for hauliers and will enable them to better compete with the UK, benefitting not just hauliers, but all exporting companies,
  • Employers’ PRSI has been adjusted to cater for minimum wage increases to ensure that neither employees or employers are worse off.

“Small and family businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and have played a crucial role in the recovery that is now well underway. Over 125,000 jobs have been created nationally since the launch of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs in 2012.  I know that not every family in Meath has felt it yet, but the measures contained in Budget 2016 will help small and family businesses continue to grow and create even more jobs. The knock on effect of this will mean that even more people across Meath will feel the benefits of the economic recovery.

“The last few budgets have been difficult, but they made it possible for Ireland to exit the bailout, reduce our debts, and move into a real recovery. That recovery is still fragile however and the top priority of this year’s budget is to secure the recovery, while providing relief and better services for the Irish people. It includes measures like a cut in the USC, more nurses and doctors for the health service, more affordable and quality childcare, and addressing the unfair treatment of the self-employed. These are sensible, affordable steps that will keep the recovery going and bring its benefits to more households so that people across Meath can enjoy a better quality of life.”

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