Galway Chamber has welcomed the Government's decision, as per Budget 2015, to commence income tax reductions but says an opportunity to do more to help SMEs create jobs has been missed.
Speaking post Budget Frank Greene, President, Galway Chamber said he welcomes the Government’s commitment to reducing personal taxes. This measure will improve consumer confidence which will in turn contribute to economic growth.
”Last week’s National Policy on Entrepreneurship gave a strong signal that Government understands the need to improve the cultural perception of entrepreneurs as job creators. However, to achieve those goals we anticipated more measures than were delivered in this budget. Capital taxes remain too high and a more balanced and urgent focus on the job creating engine of SMEs is required,”: he said.
“The positives from Budget 2015 include efforts to ignite the construction sector. We have consistently called for the abolition of the 80 per cent windfall tax and this change, combined with the expansion of the RMI scheme and the capital expenditure measures announced will be positive.
”Galway Chamber has consistently said that the 9 per cent VAT on hospitality must remain in order to create growth in that sector. This is particularly important in a tourist reliant area such as Galway. The lower VAT rate benefits the food, tourism and hospitality sectors directly but there is also a wider positive effect on everyone from suppliers to farmers.
Mr Greene went on to say that the Budget also sends a clear message that Ireland’s doors are open to new ideas, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit that will drive sustainable growth. It brings significant changes for business taxes including the ending of the "Double Irish", enhanced relief for intangibles and the phasing out of the base year for R&D.
He said that the initiatives regarding the Marine are welcome including the proposed exercise similar to the Agri-taxation review which has had a positive outcome.
“We also welcome the prioritization of the marine as a key area for further growth under the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth Strategy with a target of doubling the value of Ireland’s blue economy by 2030. This is particularly important to Galway with our key research bases in GMIT, NUIG, and the Marine Institute as well as Galway Port.
”The Living City Initiative which includes Galway is welcome and we look forward to our Council proposing eligible areas in our city later this year in time for the rollout of the initiative in early 2015. This ties in with Galway Chamber’s renewal proposals for the city centre.
He concluded by saying that while it is fair to say that there is no doubt this budget has some positive measures, more could have been done to support Irish entrepreneurs and that the Chamber will be continuing to press for further supports for SMEs as the Finance Bill progresses.