Sunday 25 February 2018

Chambers group requests tax cuts

Ian Talbot: budget is chance to support economy
Ian Talbot: budget is chance to support economy
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

HALVING the capital gains tax rate for entrepreneurs and slashing the VAT rate for home improvement projects are among the measures being proposed by Chambers Ireland in its pre-Budget submission being launched this morning.

The organisation is urging the Government to set the "right conditions" in its October Budget to improve domestic demand and stoke consumer spending.

In the pre-Budget submission, the group, which represents Chambers of Commerce across the country, says that measures to bolster SMEs must form a key plank of the budget.

Chambers Ireland chief executive Ian Talbot said that the forthcoming Budget is an opportunity to support the economy by facilitating better conditions for business that will ultimately sustain and create jobs. He claimed that after a peak-to-trough decline in demand of 20pc, which is the highest in the eurozone, an increase in demand will stimulate growth and employment and build consumer confidence.

The continuing hot weather has given many retailers a much-needed boost after lacklustre sales during harsh weather conditions in spring that crimped demand.

Mr Talbot claimed the best way to achieve stronger consumer confidence was to ensure no new taxes beyond those already announced are introduced in October.

"The sooner the Government gives certainty on this issue, the more likely we are to see the positive effects," he said.

Chambers Ireland has called for a reduction to 5pc for the VAT rate applied to all repair, maintenance and improvement projects up to a value of €50,000 on residential properties. It claims the move would "stimulate rapid growth and create up to 5,000 jobs". Such a move would benefit companies such as Grafton Group and Kingfisher-owned B&Q.

Other measures it is calling for include a halving of the rate of capital gains tax for entrepreneurs to 16.5pc, to incentivise and reward risk-taking.

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