Unless the Government starts offering more attractive incentives to small and medium-sized enterprises in Galway, and elsewhere throughout the State, such SMEs are at risk of leaving Ireland to set up in Britain.
This is the view of Independent Galway senator Fidelma Healy-Eames who is calling on the Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton to “urgently address the danger of the British government attracting indigenous Irish SMEs to set up shop there”.
According to Sen Healy-Eames, she was recently approached by a Galway entrepreneur and employer of 30 people who said he had been “offered six months free rent and six months free rates to set up or expand his business” into Britain.
“The Government has to wake up to this reality and offer more attractive measures to our SMEs,” she said. “If we lose our small and medium-sized businesses we lose jobs and taxes and it means more emigration of our people.”
The Maree based senator said the Government must take action “before this becomes a trend”, especially as Ireland is “losing its tax competitiveness and attractiveness” through such measures as PRSI which she described as “an untenable tax on employment” which “must be reduced”.
Sen Healy-Eames said a €10 an hour job to the employee costs €15 an hour to the employer, while a €15 an hour job costs €22 to the employer.
“It would be far better to reduce PRSI, assist the entrepreneur to grow his business, and enable him to hire extra employees,” she said. “This would grow the economy and be a win-win all round.”