SME employers must be the central focus of new economic policy.
ISME releases list of 12 questions detailing the top priorities for small businesses and their employees.
ISME, Wednesday 10th February 2016.
At the launch of theirelection demands document ‘Think Small First’, ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, encouraged business owners and their staff to demand answers to 12 key issues affecting SMEs. The Association is demanding that the next Government end the tax and social welfare discrimination against SMEs, reduce business costs and introduce an independent public sector pay commission.
Mark Fielding, ISME CEO, commented, “Continued economic growth is dependent on Irish SMEs’ ability to trade profitably, as they provide the bulk of Irish employment. All Government decisions, at local, national and European level, must be enterprise-focused and must always ‘think small first’.
Our list of questions for all candidates will give them a sense of the main issues affecting small business.
1) Will you end the tax discrimination against the self-employed and proprietary directors? SME owner-managers pay more tax than their employees, despite the fact that they are the job-creators.
2) What will you do to improve SME Access to Finance? ISME surveys show almost half of small business loan applications are refused.
3) Business costs are rising, making it difficult for Irish businesses to compete. How will you address state influenced costs such as local authority rates & charges, insurance and government taxes on transport, to mention just a few?
4) Will you help employers to create more employment by reinstating the 4.25% rate of Employers PRSI on low paid employees?
5) Is the roll-out of adequate broadband to all areas a priority for you?
6) Will you reinstate redundancy rebates?
7) High Capital Gains Tax rates are dissuading Owner-managers from passing on their business through succession or sale. Will you reduce the rate?
8) How will you remove the obstacles blocking SME access to Public Procurement?
9) The cost of childcare is preventing many parents from participating in the labour force, making it more difficult for SMEs to hire and retain good staff. What is your plan to cut childcare costs?
10) SMEs need more funds allocated to employee training. Will you ensure there is further investment in this area paid from the National Training Fund?
11) Will you change the useless legislation on prompt payments?
12) Will you vote for an Independent Public Sector Pay Commission?
“The next administration has a chance to implement real change for SMEs as long as they have the courage of their convictions and are willing to ‘think small first’. Among the priority areas in the next programme for government must be self-employed tax equalization, business cost reduction and public sector value for money”, concluded Fielding.