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'This gives certainty to business owners and self-employed'


Businesswoman Carol Ann Casey

Businesswoman Carol Ann Casey

Businesswoman Carol Ann Casey

Businesswoman Carol Ann Casey has been working from home during the pandemic - and she's delighted Budget 2021 has provided "confidence" for workers and small business owners.

Ms Casey runs her own company, CA Compliance, an independent investigations, governance and HR compliance service, from Dublin city centre. Since March, she has been working from home in Rathmines.

"The Budget has really given workers and business owners the certainty they need right now," Ms Casey said.

She welcomed the €1.1bn Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment fund to assist small and medium enterprises during Covid-19.

There had been, she felt, a "commitment" to society from the Government by pledging to continue the Employers Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) into next year.

"That will be very welcome," she said. "The Budget today has shown a commitment to the self-employed, to business owners, to workers.

"I welcome the reliefs announced as they show a commitment to entrepreneurs.

"The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) is very interesting too. It will support the businesses most affected with the ongoing restrictions, hopefully enabling them to open up in a better position."

Although Ms Casey was positive regarding the Budget, she is concerned about how reliefs would be rolled out.


"Some of the schemes sound great, but when are they going to be implemented and fed into the economy?" she said. "The key here is how quickly will help be provided to SMEs."

Ms Casey did not see any particular benefits through tax incentives for at-home workers. The Government did announce PAYE workers would be able to claim back via their taxes for broadband use and expenses used for work duties.

However, Ms Casey is self-employed and working from home during the pandemic. She has not seen any obvious change to her taxes that would benefit her or other self-employed at-home workers.

"The VAT reduction is good, however," she said. "We need the economy to work, so that's where I'm coming from. But I do think the pandemic has caused a lot of people to be self-employed. This Budget encourages entrepreneurship."

Ms Casey said at-home work was "something I can't believe I didn't try earlier", but she is concerned about Dublin city centre's flagg-ing trade, due to a lack of workers.

"I was in my office for 13 years and never once thought of working from home, but it has worked, and a lot of people are starting to think, 'Do I need to be in Dublin city any more?'

"Without footfall, Dublin is going to be majorly impacted. The Government needs to think about the future. This brings huge issues regarding vacant office space.

"I can see the attraction to working from home. From a lifestyle perspective, I think it's very healthy."