Naughten implores cutting of VAT and PRSI rates to assist struggling SMEs in region

Local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, has called for VAT and PRSI rate reductions to be introduced before Easter to offer a lifeline for business within the region.

“I have been contacted by a broad range of local business including retailers and restaurants who are really struggling to keep their doors open at present and, sadly, some have already taken the decision to close their business. Not only is this having an impact on employment, but it is also seriously damaging the retail and visitor experience to our towns and villages, undermining the viability of many more businesses.

“This is also undermining the significant investment that has come from Government under urban and rural regeneration funding for our local communities, investment funds which I fought hard to establish during the last Government and which were beginning to make a real impact in our towns and villages,” Deputy Naughten said.

Deputy Naughten, along with his colleagues in the Regional Group, is calling for the reduction of the current VAT rate of 13.5% to 9% for food businesses in the hospitality sector before Easter. He is also seeking and adjustment in the 8.8% employer’s PRSI threshold to a ceiling wage of €495.30 per week for all business, which will also offer a lifeline for many companies.

The proposals will be made by the Regional Group in its Private Members Motion to be debated on Thursday next in Dáil Éireann, to support Small and Medium Enterprises which are struggling to stay in business due to recent Government charges. The Group also recognises the vital role these businesses play in our local economy and communities.

The motion calls on the Government to immediately establish a taskforce representative of small businesses along with Government departments and agencies to review the application of all Government controlled costs and to reduce Government charges and costs of doing business.

SMEs are a critical pillar of the Irish economy with more than 1.2 million people employed by SMEs in Ireland.

Government policy decisions have increased the cost of doing business significantly, particularly in the SME sector and many are facing significant cost challenges.

“Not only do I want to see short term action this side of Easter to address VAT and PRSI costs, but also the establishment of a taskforce to bring about practical changes in Government costs and red tape over the following months,” commented Denis Naughten. “This taskforce is designed on the very successful Broadband Taskforce which I established in 2016 and which made a real difference in fast tracking the roll out of mobile and broadband services,” Deputy Naughten concluded.


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