Rural jobs a priority for new Enterprise and Jobs Minister
Helping to create new jobs in rural Ireland is top of the agenda for Ireland's new Enterprise Minister.
Mary Mitchell O'Connor told the Sunday Independent that her first priorities are "to ensure that the continued upturn in the economy continues and that job creation continues to grow right across the country".
She said she wants to encourage more multinationals to consider establishing a base in rural parts of the country, adding that "there are many benefits to basing companies in regions outside our major cities".
"My aim is to deliver sustainable full employment by 2020 by delivering on an extra 200,000 jobs created, of which a sizeable amount of 135,000 jobs will be outside Dublin. I want to ensure that all counties in Ireland benefit from job growth and the wider positive effects to society of job creation," Ms Mitchell O'Connor said.
"In the next few weeks in order to ensure all voices will be heard, I will be meeting with key stakeholders. One of the things I'm keen to do is engage with small business. These are the backbone of rural Ireland and I want to ensure that I can put in place the right conditions for small businesses to thrive."
Ms Mitchell O'Connor is likely to come under pressure to push for changes to the tax treatment of Irish entrepreneurs.
Prior to the last budget, her predecessor Richard Bruton lobbied Finance Minister Michael Noonan for a review of Ireland's 33pc capital gains tax rate with a view to "a significant reduction".
Noonan instead introduced a limited relief whereby the rate on €1m of chargeable gains would be 20pc.
Ireland's capital gains regime is far less favourable than that of the UK, where sole traders or business partners pay a rate of 10pc on £10m of chargeable gains. The tax treatment of share options has also been criticised.
Sunday Indo Business