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#Small Firms Association

# small-firms-association - Friday 3 December, 2010

Cold snap costs businesses €7m a day

If every employee leaves work 15 minutes early, companies lose 49,300 days of work, according to the Small Firms Association.

# small-firms-association - Tuesday 26 October, 2010

Small firm workers take fewer sick days - survey

Surprise! People take fewer sick days when there are fewer other employees to cover their work.

# small-firms-association - Monday 18 October, 2010

Confidence of small firms up in third quarter

Confidence among small firms picked up between July and September – but access to credit remains a problem.

# small-firms-association - Thursday 16 September, 2010

Loan guarantee scheme on the way for small firms

Enterprise minister Batt O’Keeffe says the government is carrying out detailed work on a government-backed scheme.

# small-firms-association - Friday 13 August, 2010

UNIONS HAVE called on the government to be fair when considering how to get more people to contribute to the social insurance fund, RTÉ reports

They have said that the government must bear in mind how much a lower-paid person is able to pay, and that the scheme must return guaranteed benefits.

The statement comes as the state announced plans for the co-called universal social contribution fund into which everyone in society would be required to pay contributions – even on “unearned income” like investments and share options.

The Department of Social Protection are considering:

  • Standardising PRSI between employees and self-employed workers – the self-employed currently pay 3% PRSI, others 4%
  • Reforming employers’ PRSI to lower the cost of employees earning less than €500 a week
  • Introducing a minimum earnings threshold for access to the full range of PRSI benefits, and
  • Abolishing the PRSI ceiling of €7,500

Paddy Keating of IMPACT said PRSI payments ought to be made on non-earned income like share options and rental income, however he stressed that this should be done on a equitable basis.

Both the the Irish Property Owners Association and the Small Firms Association (SFA) were less enthusiastic about the proposals.

The Irish Landlords Association said that such new costs would could stretch some landlords to the limit and may force them out of business, which would result in the value of the rental property market taking a hit.

SFA said that plans to concerned about any plans to charge PRSI on share options or investments, saying great progress had been made on the tax treatment of such employee incentives in recent years.

However, SFA said that an increase in the PRSI contribution rate for the self-employed would be welcomed – providing self-employed people were then entitled to the same benefits as everyone else.