Keep 12.5pc rate and roll out digital schools, ICT sector says

15 Feb 2011

The retention of the 12.5pc corporate tax rate and the continued roll out of the ICT in the classroom programme Smart Schools = Smart Economy have been called for by the ICT sector in Ireland, which employs close to 80,000 people.

ICT Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the technology sector, today said the next Government must prioritise policies that improve Ireland’s competitiveness and develop the environment for companies to create jobs.

It called for a robust defence of Ireland’s corporate tax rate and continued investment in education.

Launching the ICT sector’s key policy recommendations for the next Government, ICT Ireland director Paul Sweetman said: “The top priorities for the next Government will be stimulating economic growth and fostering an environment for job creation. The high-tech sector can help deliver this agenda.

“Last year, high-tech companies announced over 3,500 new jobs. Currently employing over 74,000 people and with nine of the top 10 global ICT companies having a significant presence in Ireland, the sector is strong and poised for further growth. The success of the sector is vital to Ireland’s economic recovery and must remain a priority.

“The sector must be supported by Government if it is to continue creating employment.”

Key policies for the next Government

ICT Ireland said the next Government must develop policies that improve Ireland’s competitive advantages in a number of areas, including:

·         Robust defence of Ireland’s 12.5pc corporate tax rate;

·         Continued improvement in labour and energy cost competitiveness;

·         Delivery of the Innovation Taskforce recommendations;

·         Substantial improvement of our primary and secondary education system;

·         Improvement of our literacy levels and competency in maths, science and foreign languages to match the highest international standards;  

·         Commitment from Government to the continued roll out of the ICT in the classroom programme;

·         Improvement of Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for research and development investment;

·         Strategic investment in ICT for Government services, through the introduction of a Government chief information officer and shared services director.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years