Monday 23 October 2017

PRSI hike 'would kill job creation'

Charlie Weston and Michael Brennan

PROPOSALS for an increase in social insurance rates paid by the self-employed would "kill" efforts to create jobs, business bodies said.

An expert group advising Social Protection Minister Joan Burton has called for pay-related social insurance (PRSI) to rise by more than a third, to 5.5pc, for those who work for themselves.

The group claims the increase would allow both invalidity pensions and partial capacity benefit to be paid to the self-employed for the first time.

There are 325,000 self-employed people who would be hit by the 37pc rise in PRSI, the expert group calculated.

However, Ms Burton is unlikely to get cabinet approval for a PRSI rise in the Budget.

Fine Gael has been insistent that increasing PRSI rates is the same as increasing income tax – and the Programme for Government is comitted to keeping them at current levels.

Mark Fielding, of ISME, said the proposed rise in PRSI would "kill" job creation.

"Any mandatory increase in taxation on the self-employed at this stage will delay, and, in many cases, kill business proposals, which would create jobs in the economy."

He called for a voluntary opt-in for the self-employed, something that was rejected by the advisory group as unworkable.

Avine McNally, of the Small Firms Association, said an increase was "just not viable".

Chambers Ireland said there was no justification for a compulsory hike in PRSI for the self-employed.

Irish Independent

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