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'Uninspiring' budget continues tax discrimination against self-starters

The self-employed are still paying more tax than everyone else.

THE SMALL-BUSINESS LOBBY has branded this year’s Budget as “uninspiring” for entrepreneurs and given the government a spray for continuing unfair tax measures against the self employed.

Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) chief executive Mark Fielding said the the tax system still discriminated against the self-employed, who paid more in taxes than the rest of the working population.

“So much for encouraging entrepreneurs,” he said.

“So much for last week’s policy document on entrepreneurship … so much for ‘making Ireland the best small country in which to do business’.”

Self-employed workers pay higher tax and PRSI contributions than company employees with those on low incomes slugged particularly hard compared to most wage earners.

At least most taxes are going down

But Fielding praised the government for trying to ease the tax burden on workers and he said the move would hopefully drive more spending and investment.

The top marginal tax bracket was cut from 41% to 40% in today’s Budget and Universal Social Charges were also reduced for the majority of workers.

Meanwhile, the Small Firms Association (SFA), which represents businesses with less than 50 employees, gave a general thumbs up the Budget – although it also called for discrimination against the self employed to stop.

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Small Firms Association Annual Lunch Small Firms Association chairman AJ Noonan Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Chairman AJ Noonan said the government’s measures should lift disposable incomes and would help small businesses get easier access to finance.

“The improvements announced to the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) should assist small businesses by making it more attractive for private investors to invest in small indigenous business and get a tax write off,” he said.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan today announced individual companies would be able to raise up to €5 million each year through the incentive scheme, which offers tax breaks to business investors.

READ: ‘Be business focused not jobs focused’ – government told >

READ: We should back female and elderly entrepreneurs better: small-business lobby >

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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