Fine Gael is the pro-enterprise party and we want to support small enterprises, family businesses and the self-employed to grow and continue to create jobs.

We want to deliver the following:

  • Continuing to phase out the USC as part of a wider medium-term income tax reform plan.
  • Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for the self-employed to €1,650, to match the PAYE credit, by 2018.
  • Exploring the mechanisms through which SMEs can reward key employees with share options in a tax-efficient manner.
  • Introduce a PRSI scheme for the self-employed and provide a supportive tax regime for entrepreneurs and the self-employed.
  • Exploring the mechanisms through which SMEs can reward key employees with share options in a tax-efficient manner.
  • Increasing the Small Benefits Exemption (voucher) from €500 to €650, which is equivalent to approximately one week’s wages for those on the average industrial wage.
  • Seeking to deliver €1bn per year from new sources of finance to supplement normal bank offerings to SMEs.
  • Improving smaller Irish businesses’ access to the €8bn public procurement market in Ireland.
  • Facilitating the return of 70,000 emigrants increasing the pool of local talent.
  • Ensuring 85% of premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband by 2018, with 100% access by 2021.
    In Budget 2017, we made progress in a number of these areas. The Earned Income Tax Credit for the self-employed was increased by €400, bringing it to €950. In addition, we are also extending more social benefits to the self-employed. These include:

  • Dental, Optical and Hearing Aid benefits to be extended to self-employed workers from March 2017.
  • Dental Benefit to be expanded in October for all insured employees and the self-employed.
  • Optical Benefits to be expanded in October for all insured workers, including the self-employed to cover the cost of glasses or a contribution towards the cost, depending on customer choice.
  • Invalidity Pension eligibility to be extended to self-employed workers from December 2017.