Measures in the 2009 Budget were directed to specifically steer indigenous firms, as well as multinationals, through the tough economic waters, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD, said today.
“The enhancements to the tax credits for R&D announced by the Minister for Finance are also a sign of the Government’s commitment in this area,” she said.
“The R&D tax credit which can be offset against a company’s corporation tax liability has been increased from 20pc to 25pc. This measure will enhance our competitiveness as a location for new internationally mobile research-related investment, and also encourage existing overseas and indigenous firms to add research functions to their operations in Ireland or to increase their level of research activity,” Coughlan added.
Funding for small businesses through the County and City Enterprise Boards rose 9pc or €3m to €34.8m for 2009.
“The County and City Enterprise Boards have developed a structure capable of generating and tapping into enterprise at local level,” the Tánaiste said.
“They have been particularly effective in their ability to respond to the needs of micro-enterprise. The 2009 allocation for the CEBs recognises the need for access to practical business information and supports for small companies, and the importance of continuing to promote entrepreneurship at this time.
“The tax relief measures for start-up businesses, by way of remission in corporation tax and capital gains tax in the first three years for new and start-up businesses, announced by the Minister for Finance today will also help to grow small business and promote an entrepreneurial culture.”
The impact of the collapse of the construction sector was marked by the allocation of just over €1bn to labour market programmes, over 58pc of the Tánaiste’s total budget.
“It is important that we continue to invest in our people, that we continue to upskill those in employment and that we provide support services and re-training for those who have lost their job. Above all, we must prevent the drift into long-term unemployment and avoid a return to the structural unemployment that we witnessed in the Eighties.”
In conclusion, the Tánaiste said the country is facing into difficult and uncertain times, but that the Budget today was about enhancing prospects for business and boosting the Irish economy’s productivity.
By John Kennedy