Our Achievements

ISME is lobbying on behalf of SMEs. The following are some of the more recent achievements:


  • ISME conducted an extensive grassroots lobbying campaign against the tax discrimination of the self-employed and secured an Earned Income Tax Credit in Budget 2016. The Association is now lobbying to have this increased to the same level as the PAYE tax credit.
  • Successfully lobbied for a decrease to the rate of CGT Entrepreneur Relief in Budget 2016.
  • The Home Renovation Incentive scheme was introduced after ISME lobbied for a similar initiative. The Scheme was then extended in Budget 2016.
  • ISME led a dedicated campaign against changes to the Pay and File date, with Minister Noonan confirming that the dates will remain the same.
  • Restored the standard PAYE allowance to the children of proprietary directors.
  • ISME lobbied for an increase in the tax free voucher allowance from €250 to €500 which was implemented in 2015.
  • ISME was instrumental in the Minister for Finance’s decision to remove the €50,000 threshold on Research & Development.

Prompt Payments

  • ISME was part of a group of stakeholders who introduced the Prompt Payment Code and Portal.
  • After much lobbying from the Association we succeeded in getting the new 15 day Prompt Payment requirement for all public sector bodies and agencies (excl. commercial Semi-State bodies).


  • ISME consulted with Central Bank to secure changes to the Banking Code of Practice for lending to SMEs which will make it more effective for small businesses.
  • Our lobbying led to an interim solution being reached to eliminate the risk associated with the lack of full bank participation in the SEPA B2B Scheme.
  • ISME successfully lobbied for the introduction of the Microenterprise Loan Fund and the establishment of Microfinance Ireland.
  • The Association lobbied for the introduction of the Credit Guarantee Scheme to alleviate SME lending difficulties.
  • ISME successfully lobbied for the introduction of a Banking Code of Practice (Currently under review again) and Credit Review Office to free up vital credit for SMEs.
  • The Association was instrumental in the introduction of the Bank Switching Code, which allows small businesses to change banks in a faster and more efficient manner.
  • ISME consistently and successfully engages with the Government and the banks to free up vital finance for the SME sector.


  • Worked with the CSR Stakeholder Forum to launch a csrhub.ie which helps SMEs to improve their CSR.


  • ISME successfully campaigned for the retention of the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality and services sector.
  • ISME successfully lobbied for an increase in the VAT exemption limit for SMEs and is continuing to lobby for a further increase.


  • Successfully lobbied for the establishment of the Retail Consultation Forum to aid struggling retailers.

Company Law

  • ISME successfully lobbied Government to reduce the administrative costs on SMEs in the Companies (Accounting) Act 2017.
  • The introduction of Examinership Light, to reduce the costs and red tape of examinership.
  • ISME successfully lobbied for an increase in the Audit Threshold whereby the turnover threshold amount which small business are required to be audited was increased from €1.5m to €8.8m.

Public Procurement

  • Secured changes to the Public Procurement Process to make it more accessible to SMEs.
  • Lobbied for the establishment of the Tender Advisory Service.


  • ISME worked with UEAPME to secure changes to Multi-lateral Interchange Fee regulation in order to make it more SME friendly.
  • ISME ran a successful campaign against the introduction of a national sick pay scheme.
  • ISME was instrumental in the setting up of the Advisory Group on Small Business, many of whose recommendations to improve the environment for smaller companies have been approved at Government level.
  • ISME encouraged the Government to allow owner/managers the right to self-manage their pension funds after retirement.
  • Established dispute resolution procedures for its members with the Revenue Commissioners, Eircom and other State bodies.
  • ISME was instrumental in the introduction of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
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