Fine Gael is backing businesses and jobs in Budget 2023 with a range of measures that will help companies pay their energy bills this winter, said two Fine Gael Senators.
We recognise that small and medium businesses employ more people in Ireland than both the public sector and multinationals combined, making them pillars within our economy.
Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Enterprise and Trade, Senator Garret Ahearn, said, “Within Budget 2023, we have maintained a focused approach while ensuring that we target enterprises that are vulnerable but viable.
“The past two years have been extremely challenging for business owners across the country. Small and medium businesses have been durable throughout a host of crises and today, we aim to ease the burden.
“As we come into winter, the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme will assist businesses with their energy costs. This €1.2bn support will operate through Revenue across a six-month period with businesses receiving the first payment in November.
“It will work on a self-assessment basis allowing businesses to register for this scheme and make claims. The threshold is a 50% increase in average unit energy price between this year and last. Once the criteria are met, the support is calculated on the basis of 40% of the amount of the increase of the bill.
“For firms in the manufacturing and/or internationally traded services sector, the war on Ukraine has caused devastation. Having visited Bucha in Ukraine, I witnessed the multitude of challenges caused by the war on Ukraine. The Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme worth €200 million will help firms operating in the manufacturing and/or internationally traded services sector.
“The overarching additional €36 million allocated to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, supports crucial investment in digitalisation and the green economy”, Senator Ahearn concluded.
Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Finance, Senator Maria Byrne, added, “Fine Gael has ensured the strong economy required to improve the quality of your life, and we are putting money back in people’s pockets.
“The Small Benefit Exemption is increasing, meaning an employer can provide limited non-cash benefits or rewards to their workers without the payment of income tax, PRSI and USC. The annual limit is increasing to €1,000 meaning employers can now give their staff up to €1,000 in one or two instalments.
“For employers hiring candidates from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds, new funding means they can access the higher rate of the JobsPlus subsidy.
“Businesses will also be receiving a number of tax credits such as the Knowledge Development Box, the Research and Development tax credit, and a film corporation tax credit. As Ireland continues to attract innovative industries, the Government will continue to encourage international players to locate here.
“Furthermore, the share option scheme, Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) which helps SMEs attract and keep talent in a very competitive labour market has been extended from 2023 to 2025. This is a concrete step which represents progress that can be further built upon in 2023.
“Businesses are feeling the squeeze with some finding it really hard to make ends meet and having to make tough decisions. Fine Gael is the most pro-enterprise party and with Budget 2023, we are standing up for businesses to help with rising costs, and will continue to do so”, Senator Byrne concluded.