Bill offers little support for business - CPA

 

The Finance Bill published yesterday does little to support Ireland’s struggling business community, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA).

The organisation accused the Government of being out of step with the day to day realities for firms, saying the Bill contained no long-term strategy.

The bill, which must be enacted by April 9th this year, gives legal effect to the taxation measures announced by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan in December's budget.

It closed a tax loophole used by some multinationals to maximise profit, introduced new measures to increase Ireland’s appeal as an investment destination, and contained measures to make Ireland more attractive as a hub for hedge funds and for Islamic finance.

CPA President John White said that while measures to protect foreign direct investment such as the amendments to the existing research and development credit allowance and enhancements of the remittance scheme for higher earners were welcome, it failed to make changes to the PRSI regime, and introduced a carbon tax, which increased the burden on businesses.

"What use is the extension of the scheme of tax exemption on the income and gains of new start-up companies if there is no credit available to them? Our clients are reporting zero access to credit from banks. Tweaking of taxes is of little use if this is not addressed,” he said.

“These are merely changes to existing measures and show an alarming lack of any long term strategy with regard to supporting Irish business and restoring competitiveness in an international context. We have to disagree with the Minister’s assertion that this Bill provides targeted support to enterprise.”

Bloxham economist Alan McQuaid viewed the bill with some optimism. "The Bill will build on Ireland’s existing strengths and will put the economy in the position to take advantage of the domestic recovery that is being predicted by the second half of this year," he wrote in a note today.