Ireland: Richard Bruton pledges tax boost for business
13 January 2015
Posted by: Author: Niall O'Connor
Author: Niall O'Connor (Irish Independent)
The Government is planning an overhaul of a "lucrative" tax relief scheme for businesses which will see first-time entrepreneurs avail of tens of thousands of euro to offset their start-up costs.
Those who set up businesses for the first time will be entitled to claim back USC and income tax that have been paid over a six-year period, under plans being spear-headed by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton.
Business owners will be encouraged to calculate the level of tax they are owed from the State and use this information to support loan applications with their bank.
It is hoped that the scheme, which will be called 'Start-Up Relief for Entrepreneurs' (SURE), will make it significantly easier for businesses to get off the ground and create jobs.
Writing exclusively in today's Irish Independent, Mr Bruton predicted that the country will return to "full employment" by 2018 - two years ahead of schedule.
It's understood that this pledge, which involves restoring the 250,000 jobs lost during the economic collapse, will form a central plank of the Government's upcoming 'Spring Statement'.
Senior Government sources are adamant that ministers must continuously highlight the improving employment figures and recent tax cuts in a bid to shore up support for the Coalition ahead of the general election.
Writing today, Mr Bruton said the revised 2018 target for securing full employment is dependent on the Government sticking to its current plan.
"This will not happen automatically, it will depend on proper implementation of good plans. That means continuing on the path we are on - reducing taxes on work, improving competitiveness, supporting exports and constantly innovating," Mr Bruton wrote.
"We have hauled ourselves painfully out of this latest collapse. Jobs and the economy are now growing at the fastest rate in Europe," he added.
But the Dublin North Central TD warned about the dangers of handing the country over to Fianna Fail or Sinn Fein.
"Fianna Fail, during the 2000s, built an economy on the quicksand of property instead of the solid bedrock of enterprise and exports, with consequences that we all know. Now they don't have any plans for job creation.
"Sinn Fein's plans over the last four years would have added €5bn more in taxes on to people," the Fine Gael minister said.
"This means that if Sinn Fein had been in power over the last four years, every household would now on average be paying €3,000 extra in taxes per year - stifling enterprise and killing jobs."
The Government's latest pledge to offer a boost to entrepreneurs comes as new figures set to be published today show that Irish exporting companies enjoyed a record year in 2014.
Mr Bruton said that an improved tax offering for business people will be coupled with a major new regional jobs strategy, which is expected to entail a €25m job creation fund aimed at the country's eight regions.
The scheme, which will form part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2015, is aimed at bodies such as local authorities, education institutions, chambers of commerce and State agencies.
"Jobs are now growing in every region of the country. We will be outlining plans, including extra funding, to support accelerated job creation in each region, building on their individual strengths," Mr Bruton said.
This article first appeared on independent.ie.