Wednesday 21 March 2018

Irish Stock Exchange chief says tax policy is unattractive to mid market companies

Irish Stock Exchange chief executive Deirdre Somers
Irish Stock Exchange chief executive Deirdre Somers

Tom Molloy

The government is ignoring needs of mid-size companies by prioritising multinationals and start-ups, the head of the Irish Stock Exchange warned today.

Irish Stock Exchange chief executive Deirdre Somers told a conference that the Government is ignoring Ireland’s mid-size companies in favour of an enterprise policy that is primarily aimed at supporting multinationals and start-ups.

She added that the Irish economy would benefit from more home-grown companies of scale and called for a change in policy to reflect this.

Policy changes could include tax changes to encourage market access are essential to counter the collapse in bank funding to enterprise, she added.

“Developing more home-grown success stories, which are capable of earning money abroad and spending it on creating jobs at home, can make a major and sustainable contribution to the economic and social life of this country,” Ms Somers said.

“Having a low corporation tax rate, however laudable and necessary, will not of itself deliver successful mid-market companies. We need to set a national agenda for scale, recognise the prize of having successful companies of scale and tackle whatever obstacles stand in the way of the entrepreneurs who can create these companies”.

Ms Somers said the Irish Stock Exchange is ready to help mid-market companies (those with annual turnover of more than €20m and profits of more than €3m) access the funding they need through the public equity and debt markets – but the Government’s current tax policy is making it unattractive for companies to do so.

“Bank funding to enterprise has collapsed. New funding sources are not a conceptual luxury, they are a necessity,” said Ms Somers.

Irish Independent

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