Wednesday 18 September 2019

Cut capital gains tax to future-proof economy, argues SFA

Spollen-Behrens and chair Sue O’Neill
Spollen-Behrens and chair Sue O’Neill
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The Small Firms Association (SFA) has called on the Government to reduce capital gains tax to 20pc from 33pc in next year's Budget.

In its pre-Budget submission, the SFA said such a move would make investing in a business here more attractive.

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Last year, the Government received just over €1bn from capital gains receipts, up slightly on 2017.

Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA director, said: "Budget 2020 must place a clear focus on Ireland's small business owners, by providing certainty on costs and maintaining competitiveness.

"By doing so, the Government would reduce the risk on our economy from an over-reliance on foreign direct investment and Brexit, while seizing an important opportunity to future-proof our economic model."

The lobby group is also continuing its call for a "whole-of-Government" small business strategy.

Mr Spollen-Behrens said: "To meet the Government's target of increasing domestic productivity by 1pc per year, greater investment in education and upskilling for small business is needed.

"At a time when positivity among small businesses is at its lowest seen by the SFA, it is vital that Budget 2020 boosts confidence among our small business community."

Elsewhere, the SFA has requested that there be no further rise in the minimum wage.

It said that "rapid" increases in the minimum wage since 2015 had added more than €20,000 to the yearly wage bill of a small employer that has 10 minimum-wage staff.

"Government must ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated by allowing business costs to escalate in a period of economic growth," the SFA added.

In addition, the small business group called for the removal of the €3m cap on the value of business assets allowable for retirement relief for those aged 66 or over, which it said would encourage family companies to be passed on to younger generations earlier.

Irish Independent

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