REDUCING the rate of VAT to 21 per cent and building the Limerick to Cork motorway are just two of the submissions from businesses as part of pre-budget considerations that Government should implement.
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, presented its pre-budget submission to Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.
The Association outlines its top five priorities, including a VAT reduction, in a submission that looks for a pro-jobs and pro-enterprise return from the next set of accounts outlined for the country.
ISME Chief Executive Neil McDonnell said the country “remains a highly indebted country, in a global environment that presents many economic threats. Our real wealth, measured by GNI, is 30 per cent below the GDP figures we have been using for years to justify public expenditure figures.”
Spending on infrastructure needs to increase, according to the group submission as the State needs to prioritise water provision, the National Broadband plan, and the completion of the M20 between Cork and Limerick,
The group has submitted that Budget 2018 should see a reduction in the 23 per cent VAT rate to 21 per cent and the rapid provision of affordable housing, and improved public transpor by Government.
“We should target infrastructure at 4 per cent of GNI and capital expenditure must take priority over increasing current expenditure.
“Our Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Inheritance Tax regimes must be updated, both to increase yield, and to encourage more intensive use of assets”, Mr McDonnell said adding that business start-up and entrepreneurial reliefs must be updated, to encourage the formation of new businesses, and to encourage entrepreneurs to scale those businesses before sale.
ISME says that further education and training regime is not consistent with activating a bigger workforce, or training the unskilled. Ireland’s performance on NEETs (not in Employment, Education or Training) is markedly worse than the OECD average.
“This Government must act prudently and sensibly in these challenging times. Greater investment in our infrastructure, reduction in VAT and investment in our training/skills programmes will enable our economy to deal with the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit.” Mr McDonnell concluded.
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