Businesswoman Carol Ann Casey has been working from home during the pandemic - and she’s delighted Budget 2021 has today provided “confidence” to workers and small business owners.
s Casey runs her own company, CA Compliance, an independent investigations, governance and HR compliance service, from Dublin city centre.
But since March, she’s been working from home in Rathmines, south Dublin.
“The Budget has really given workers and business owners the certainty they need right now,” Ms Casey told the Irish Independent.
The businesswoman welcomed the €1.1bn Department of Entreprise, Trade and Employment fund to assist small and medium enterprises during Covid-19.
And there had been, she felt, a “commitment” to society from the Government by pledging to continue the Employers Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) into 2021.
“That will be very welcome,” she added. “The Budget today has shown a commitment to the self employed, to business owners, to workers.
“I welcome the reliefs announced as they show a commitment to indiginous entrepreneurs.
“The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) is very interesting too - it will support the businesses most affected with ongoing restrictions, hopefully enabling them to open up in a better position.”
Though Ms Casey was positive regarding the Budget - she was concerned about the length of time and how reliefs would be rolled out.
“Some of the schemes sound great but when are they going to be implemented and fed into the economy?” she said.
“The key here is how quickly will help be provided to SMES.”
Ms Casey did not see any particular benefits through tax incentives to at home workers.
The Government did announce PAYE workers would be able to claim back via their taxes for broadband use and expenses used for work duties.
However, Ms Casey is self-employed and working from home during the pandemic.
She has not seen any obvious change to her taxes that would benefit her or other self-employed at home workers.
“The VAT reduction is good, however,” she said. “We need the economy to work, so that’s where I’m coming from.
“But I do think the pandemic has caused a lot of people to be self employed. This is an attractive budget and encourages entrepreneurship.”
Ms Casey said at home work was “something I can’t believe I didn’t try earlier,” but she is concerned about Dublin city centre’s flagging trade, due to a lack of city workers.
“A lot of people are working from home,” Ms Casey said. “And they’re doing it successfully. Covid-19 has opened people’s eyes.
“I was in my office for 13 years and never once thought of working from home.
“But it has worked and a lot of people are starting to think, do I need to be in Dublin city anymore?
“Can I live anywhere in Ireland, the world? And still work remotely.
“Without footfall Dublin is going to be majorly impacted. If people go off to live in other areas, they know they will get cheaper homes, so what will the impact on rents be in Dublin?
“I know a family who have moved away because rent is cheaper out of Dublin. And I know this will be how many people feel.
“The Government needs to think about the future. This situation brings huge issues regarding vacant office space. And if people are going to leave Ireland to go back to their home country, to work remotely.”
The mother-of-one added: “There are revenue factors that come into that. But I can see the attraction to working from home. From a lifestyle perspective, I think it's very healthy.”