Tax relief for first time entrepreneurs
First-time entrepreneurs will be able to claim back tens of thousands in tax relief in order to offset startup costs following a revamp of a scheme operated by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
In addition, the Government has introduced a €10m competitive fund to support more start-ups around the country.
Half of the fund will go to Local Enterprise Offices.
Under the revamped tax scheme, PAYE workers who opt to start up their own business are entitled to income tax refunds of up to 41pc of their capital investment.
The 'Start-Up Relief for Entrepreneurs' (SURE) scheme will involve a cap of €100,000.
Launching the revamped scheme yesterday, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the initiative is important given that two-thirds of all new jobs are now created by startups.
Mr Bruton said the tax relief is important because in the past start-up companies have "fallen into pitfalls where cash runs out before their potential is fulfilled". Business owners will also be encouraged to calculate the level of tax they are owed from the State and use this information to support loan applications with their bank.
While a different version of the SURE scheme was previously in operation, Mr Bruton said it had very little pick up because people didn't know what it involved.
Through SURE, the Government is directly offering cash to people who are considering starting their own business, up to a value of 41pc of their total investment. "We are determined to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of this generous scheme so that more people start businesses and help create the jobs we need," he added.
Separately, Employment Minister Ged Nash yesterday gave his strongest indication yet that he intends to tackle the issue of zero hour contracts.
Addressing an IBEC event, Mr Nash said he accepts the "need to balance fair employment with the need to create jobs in the first place".
However, the Labour Party TD said workers must be not be tied into contracts that involve greater uncertainty. "But the bottom line is that workers need and are entitled to basic security in their employment, in order to plan their lives," he said.
"I have said before that this Government will not preside over an economic recovery which involves a ruthless race to the bottom or the sacrifice of hard won rights that are considered to be the mark of decent and progressive societies," he added.
Earlier this year, the minister announced a major study by the University of Limerick into zero hour contracts.
UL academics will look into the prevalence and impact of work contracts for eight hours or less.