Budget 2018 helps small businesses deal with the challenge of Brexit – Burke

-   Peter Burke TD

The new loan scheme introduced to help our small and medium enterprises deal with Brexit is one of many important measures contained in Budget 2018, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Peter Burke, Fine Gael TD for Longford Westmeath said: “This Budget was prepared with business in mind, and it factors in the challenge of Brexit. Our economic recovery is due in no small part to the small and medium business owners who worked very hard through some very lean times.

“These are uncertain times for businesses; where every business decision has to be made in the context of Brexit. The Government has allocated an additional €3 million to various agencies to bring the number of dedicated Brexit staff up to 100.

In anticipation of the needs of small and medium businesses, a new €300 million Brexit Loan Scheme for Business has been created. This will cut the lending rate to 4% for qualifying businesses and will help our SMEs navigate through Brexit.

“The new Key Employee Engagement Programme, (KEEP) will support small and medium enterprises in their efforts to attract and retain key skills and employees in a highly competitive international labour market, by providing for an advantageous tax treatment on share options.

“To help us attract Foreign Direct Investment to the regions, the Government is commitment to Ireland’s 12.5% Corporate Tax rate. IDA Ireland is targeting a minimum increase in investment of 30% to 40% in each region outside Dublin, with Dublin continuing to attract similar high investment levels as before.

“The increase of €200 in the Earned Income Tax Credit to €1,150 will bring us closer towards tax equalisation for the self-employed.

“Fine Gael will continue to improve the tax offer to people running small businesses and we will reduce, and ultimately eliminate the historical income tax discrepancy that exists between PAYE workers and the self-employed in the coming budgets.

“This Government will continue developing commerce and job creation, both nationally and regionally to ensure our recovery reaches all corners of Ireland. To help businesses do so, the Government has allocated funding of €871 million to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

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