TAOISEACH Enda Kenny yesterday said the "discriminatory" tax treatment of the self-employed is "no longer justifiable".
At the launch of Fine Gael's 'Standing Up for Small Business' campaign, Mr Kenny said the party will begin a "national conversation" to seek the views of small business owners and entrepreneurs ahead of the next budget.
A Fine Gael working group - consisting of Tom Barry, Aine Collins and Liam Twomey - is developing a strategy to kick-start the small business sector.
The group has spoken to banks, businesses, lobby groups and workers about the issues facing the industry and will compile a report for the parliamentary party.
The Irish Independent previously revealed the group discussed introducing an automatic social welfare payment for self-employed workers if they become unemployed.
At the event in Krust Bakery on George's Street in Dublin, Ms Collins said small businesses feel their contribution to the economy is "not fully recognised".
She pointed to a discrepancy in the tax paid by the self-employed and PAYE workers as one of the main issues raised by those working in the sector.
A mentoring service for start-up companies - including an online database of those involved in the service - is key element of the party's campaign.
"The result of our findings will inform our policy ahead of the general election next year. Small business is a cornerstone of the economy and this party will stand up for small business in villages in cities, towns and villages right across the country," Ms Collins said.
Meath West TD Ray Butler, who was also at the event, said he has been calling for social welfare payment, without mean-testing, for the self-employed since he was voted into office.