Recruiter calls punitive personal tax regime a barrier to attracting talent

Pre-recession growth levels returning in Ireland, says head of Merc Partners

Ireland’s high personal tax rate makes it difficult to attract  foreign nationals, a recruitment company has said. Photograph: iStock

Ireland’s high personal tax rate makes it difficult to attract foreign nationals, a recruitment company has said. Photograph: iStock

 

Ireland’s punitive personal tax regime is a barrier to attracting foreign national talent into the country, the leader of one of the country’s leading executive recruitment companies has said.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ruth Curran, the managing partner of Merc Partners, noted that although the Irish economy was growing with unemployment falling, our high personal income tax rates made it difficult to attract foreign nationals.

“For non [Irish] nationals it’s the punitive tax regime here, 52 per cent is an awful lot of money to drop to come and live in Ireland. The question is do we have this inflection point, given Brexit, to capitalise on attracting big companies to come here,” she said.

On the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, Ms Curran said: “We’re in a bit of a holding pattern. A lot of decisions aren’t being made yet.”

Ms Curran’s comments came as Merc filed abridged accounts for the year ended May 2017.

Accumulated profits at the recruiter rose 22 per cent to €1.43 million last year as economic growth drove employment requirements.

Remuneration

The company, which is active across a range of sectors in Ireland, invested more than €300,000 into the business in the year into staff training and its brand.

Merc Partners employed 16 people in the period and had wage and salary costs of €1.53 million. Directors remuneration fell 1.6 per cent to €978,612.

This year the company is expecting double-digit growth helped by its non-executive director recruitment practice.

However, the key focus was still executive search, including chief executive recruitment. Merc was involved in the appointment of Dee Forbes as director general at RTÉ in 2016.

While 70 per cent of Merc’s business is repeat, the remainder is buoyed by new private equity company’s entering the Irish market.

“We are definitely coming out of a very difficult time. It feels like the [pre-recession] growth levels are returning,” Ms Curran said.