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Government in listening mode as it starts series of regional meetings on Budget 2016 and Action Plan for Jobs 2016

Senior economic Ministers to canvass views of small business-owners on Action Plan for Jobs and future budgetary policy

Senior economic Ministers will today in Dundalk hold the first of a series of regional meetings on the recent Budget and the next Action Plan for Jobs.

Each year Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton TD holds a series of listening meetings with small business-owners in towns and cities across the country, as part of a consultation on what should be included in the subsequent year’s Action Plan for Jobs. As a reflection of the importance of this exercise, the agenda has been expanded this year to include Budgetary policy and other senior economic Ministers.

Tomorrow in Dundalk, the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin TD and the Minister of State for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD will join Minister Bruton to hear the views of small business-owners in the North East on the recent Budget, the Action Plan for Jobs 2016 and broader Government policies aimed at supporting business and creating jobs.

Officials from relevant State Agencies including Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices will also be present to answer questions and provide information.

Among the new supports for business contained in Budget 2016 on which briefing will be available include:

  • Reduced Capital Gains Tax rate of 20% for successful entrepreneurs
  • Reductions in the USC affecting middle-income workers and creating jobs
  • Income tax credit of €550 for self-employed people, with improvements in future years
  • Knowledge Development Box – globally ‘best in class’ and first OECD-compliant scheme,competitive rate of 6.25% on qualifying income, benefits for SMEs, in place from 1st Jan 2016
  • Extension of tax relief for start-up companies
  • Employment and Investment Incentive scheme to increase availability of investment finance for business – extension of scheme to include all geographical locations, and increase thresholds

Several other such meetings are scheduled for the coming weeks, with meetings confirmed for Portlaoise and Kilkenny.

The three main objectives of the meetings are:

  1. Explain to industry what the long term budgetary and taxation plans look like,
  2. Explain what the enterprise and jobs ambitions and strategy are at a national and regional level, and,
  3. Above all, canvass input and contributions from business on future plans.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Bruton said: “Since we launched the first Action Plan for Jobs an extra 125,000 people are at work. Budgetary policy has played a major role in this, through the stability it has brought to the public finances and the economy, and through the specific pro-jobs measures. However we must now look to the next stages of our recovery plan and that is why we are expanding our programme of travel around the country to ask small-business owners and industrialists – what more should we be doing, in future Budgets and in Action Plan 2016, to support you to create more jobs? I look forward to hearing the views of the people of Dundalk, Potlaoise and Kilkenny and others over the coming weeks”.

Minister Noonan said: “The priority of Budget 2016 has been to keep the recovery going. This has been balanced with the need to invest in better services for the Irish people. The Budget included steps like a cut in the USC, more nurses and doctors for the health service, more affordable and quality childcare, and steps to end the unfair treatment of the self-employed. These are sensible, affordable steps that will keep the recovery going and bring its benefits to every family. Future budgets should continue the focus on securing the recovery and incentivising work. This should be done by continuing to look at sector specific tax measures to ensure the recovery is broadly based and prevent an over reliance on one sector of the economy”.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD said:

"Stable public finances are at the heart of any country's ability to grow economically and create jobs. With great sacrifices from the Irish people we have managed to bring the public finances under control over the past four years, and this has provided the basis for the economy and the jobs market both now growing at the fastest rate in Europe. I am looking forward to hearing the views of the people of Dundalk tomorrow on the next steps in our plan to deliver the jobs and living standards that the people of Ireland need.

"Employment has increased in all regions in Ireland over the past year and the reduction in unemployment from a peak of 15.2% to 9.3% has been our biggest achievement and Budget 2016 will support further job creation. The Government’s Capital Investment Plan published at the end of September provides for investment of almost €4.3 billion to support new and expanding businesses across all sectors of the economy, targeting jobs growth in both cities and in rural communities.€1.1 billion will be allocated to support business and jobs primarily through Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.”

Minister Nash said: “I am delighted that Co Louth has been chosen to host this first in a series of meetings with small business owners and entrepreneurs to discuss Budget 2016 and the Action Plan for Jobs. We are determined that the benefits of the economic recovery will be evenly spread throughout the regions and I am looking forward to hearing what ideas the people who are creating the jobs that are driving economic growth across the North East have as we move into the next phase of our country’s recovery”.

ENDS

 

For further information, please contact: Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation ph. 6312200 or press.office@djei.ie

 

MEDIA ARRANGEMENTS

The four Ministers will be available for a media opportunity following the conclusion of the meeting:

Where:             Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk

When:              Tomorrow (Wednesday), media opportunity at 2pm

Contact:          Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200

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