Pensions and self-employed


Sir, – Let me assure Joseph Doddy (Letters, September 14th) that while the Government’s labour-employer forum does indeed exclude the voices of small business, ISME has made it loudly clear from outside the room that blaming small businesses for the ills of our social insurance system will not work. Small businesses employ almost three quarters of the productive workforce and generate more exchequer revenues in every subhead other than corporation tax.

To see civil servants, trade unionists and NGO economists suggesting that the self-employed don’t pay their way in social contributions is one thing. But to see ESRI economists suggesting hammering the self-employed with (another) social levy, while they themselves sit on a €75 million pension deficit (which will fall to the taxpayer to bail out) is quite another.

It is hard to imagine that the ESRI’s founder, Dr TK Whitaker, would have stomached, let alone tolerated, this hypocrisy were he still alive.

– Yours, etc,


Chief Executive,


Dublin 2.

Sir, – Note to Sinn Féin: a 4 cent hike in employers’ PRSI, a straight-up tax on employment, will have three effects – lower employment, higher prices and a further disincentive for multinational company investment in Ireland.

– Yours, etc,


Castleknock, Dublin 15.