Belfast Telegraph

Irish budget 2019 ‘should focus on indigenous business and higher education’

The new budget is expected to be announced on October 9.

A group which represents Irish businesses has urged the Government to think of indigenous firms and ensuring a skilled workforce when preparing budget 2019.

Work is ongoing on the new budget, which is expected to be announced on October 9.

The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (Ibec) has launched its budget submission, in which it also calls for Ireland to follow Sweden’s lead in an “ambitious treatment of share-based remuneration in new firms”.

It also calls for a new 12.5% capital gains tax rate for entrepreneurs with no limit on lifetime gains and a pre-approved accelerated capital allowance for firms investing to prepare for Brexit.

Ireland’s tax base has become dangerously concentrated, so the time is right to make a step-change in how we treat our indigenous business sectors through the tax system Ibec Director of Policy and Public Affairs Fergal O’Brien

The submission urges more support for robotics and broadening the industrial buildings allowance to include data centres, and help for businesses trying to de-carbonise.

It suggests capital allowances for natural gas in the transport fleet and energy retrofit of existing building stock.

Ibec Director of Policy and Public Affairs Fergal O’Brien has also called for an extra 250 million euro for higher education.

He said Ireland is in a new phase of economic development.

“Rising prosperity offers greater choices but given our recent history it brings with it greater responsibility too,” he said.

“In the first instance, the Government needs to bring a new focus to indigenous business.

“Ireland’s tax base has become dangerously concentrated, so the time is right to make a step-change in how we treat our indigenous business sectors through the tax system.

“We must also recognise the significance of the recent US business tax reforms for the foreign direct investment sector.

“The most effective response will be to underline the certainty of the business tax regime and intensify the emphasis on competitiveness.

“Furthermore, although education has been central to Ireland’s business model, the country is falling further behind its counterparts in higher education, as international rankings show, which is a real cause for concern in the business community.

“In the light of this worrying trend, Ibec believes that 250 million euro earmarked for the ‘rainy day’ fund should be redirected to investment in the higher education sector in 2019.”

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