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Ireland now 'at risk of losing jobs to the UK'

Ireland is at risk of losing growing numbers of start-up businesses to the UK where the tax regime for entrepreneurs is much more competitive, business leaders have warned.

Dublin Chamber said it has noted an increase in the number of businesses seeking to relocate away from Ireland to Britain, and warned that the UK has achieved a number of competitive advantages in the past five years that pose a threat.

The Chamber said the tax regime for entrepreneurs in the UK is better than Ireland in nine out of 10 categories.

"This was not a topic three or four years ago. We were hearing nothing about this then," said Chamber chief executive Gina Quin.


"But in the last three years there has been a definite increase in the noise about this.

"There's a lot more talk about 'Where am I going to get the best chance of making my company a success?'. And the answer to this is not always Ireland or Dublin.

"These are Irish-born-and-bred entrepreneurs. Some of them are choosing to set up a second office in the UK and some of them are completely decamping and moving their business there."

The Chamber flagged its concerns in its pre-Budget submission to Government in recent days. In the submission, the Chamber said it is not only multi-national corporate investment that is mobile, but start-ups and entrepreneurs more generally.

In 10 tax categories, Ireland has the advantage only in corporation tax, where its rate is 12.5pc versus the 20pc UK rate.

"Dublin Chamber has noted an increase in the number of businesses seeking to relocate to the UK. While this trend does not automatically imply job losses for Ireland, it does carry a heavy opportunity cost as businesses that might otherwise have started or grown in Ireland are now doing so in the UK," the submission stated.

Dublin's Commissioner for Start-ups, Niamh Bushnell, said the environment here doesn't encourage people to get involved in investing or start-ups.