Small Firms Association (SFA) 2021 Budget Statement

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Commenting on the 2021 Budget Statement, Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA) said: Budget 2021 has given thousands of small business owners the certainty they needed to plan for the year ahead.  

“We welcome the equalisation of the Earned Income Tax Credit with the PAYE credit, the return of the 9% VAT rate and the extension of the commercial rates waiver and tax warehousing scheme. The commitment to continue the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme during 2021 will give those dependent on it more certainty, especially businesses in the experience economy.   

“Self-employed business owners will welcome the reliefs announced, which show the Government’s commitment to indigenous entrepreneurs.   

“We are pleased to see the establishment of a Covid Restrictions Support Scheme to help businesses most affected by rolling COVID-19 restrictions and the allocation of additional funding to assist small firms to work alongside health and business restrictions and prepare for a post-Brexit environment. 

“Whilst today’s announcements look good today, the key questions will be how quickly these can be implemented and feed through the economy. The Small Firms Association looks forward to engaging with Government to ensure the proper and efficient distribution of these business supports.   

“It is regrettable that the Government has again ignored the SFA’s call to reduce Capital Gains Tax (CGT), to 20% across the board, to make investing in a business in Ireland more attractive. At 33%, Ireland has one of the highest rates of CGT amongst developed economies. It is disappointing that the Government has decided against introducing measures which would stimulate economic activity and add to our competitiveness.   

“Budget 2021 will further increase business costs for small business with the decisions to raise carbon tax to €7.50 per tonne. The SFA is working alongside small firms to ensure that they can properly engage with Government on the transition to a low carbon economy. We have also called for Government to outline a long-term strategy on the transition and for further supports to allow the small business community to gain from the transition, as micro generators, investors, consumers and as suppliers of products and services.  

“These are hugely worrying times for small business, and for many, 2021 is going to be a difficult year. However, today’s Budget is an important step in providing the certainty needed by small business to overcome the challenges posed by Covid and thrive on the other side” concluded Spollen-Behrens.