Ireland is home to 248,344 Small-Medium Enterprises employing 968.881 people. While Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) receives a lot of attention, Renua believes that Government must focus on measures to help our domestic enterprises grow and prosper.
- Establish real competition in the Irish banking sector by harnessing the network of An Post offices and Credit Unions to establish a German-Style public bank in Ireland. German public banks are typically owned by Federal, Regional or Local Government with profits used to both secure its capital base and distributed for the benefit of local communities.
- Instruct the Central Bank to issue guidelines to aid the development of peer-to-peer lending in Ireland.
- Introduce laws to specifically prevent banks from demanding personal guarantees and pre-signed letters of resignation when offering loans to businesses. Banks need to get back to basics by fully analysing a lending proposal and making their decision solely on that.
- Renua Ireland will support the growth and development of the social enterprise sector in Ireland. We will instruct Local Enterprise Offices (LEO’s) to accept funding applications from Social Enterprises.
- Introduce a nationwide relief scheme to reduce commercial rates for struggling businesses. This will be funded by the imposition of a levy on vacant commercial properties.
- Ask our proposed Commission On The Future of Taxation and Welfare to recommend a new system to better fund local government in Ireland.
- Abolish tax on stock options at companies that are younger than 10 years, have fewer than 50 employees and revenue and a balance sheet of less than €8m. Such a policy is already in operation in Sweden and has already been approved by the European Commission.
- Increase the lifetime limit on gains from the disposal of businesses from €1m to €15m. Entrepreneurs will pay a reduced rate of CGT (10%) on all gains made up to the lifetime limit of €15m. The relief will be available to all those who own a minimum of 1% of a business.
- Abolish the ‘Low Pay Commission’.
- Link any further minimum wage increases to 3-year average inflation. We will also defend the “ability to pay” clause for employers.
- Focus Government on reducing the high-cost of living in Ireland – please see our ‘Cost of living’ policy under the ‘Taxpayer First’ Pillar.
- Reduce the rate of Employer’s PRSI for those earning less than €380 per week to 4.25%.
- Reform the National Training Fund so that a minimum of 55% of spending is dedicated to ‘In Employment’ activities where the employers who pay for it can access the fund for the benefit of their workers.