Dr Constantin Gurdgiev on why Budget 2016 favours MNCs (video)

14 Oct 2015

Dr Constantin Gurdgiev at the IIA post-Budget 2016 briefing. Image via Connor McKenna

Speaking at the Irish Internet Association’s (IIA) post-Budget 2016 briefing, Dr Constantin Gurdgiev spoke of how disappointing the budget was for Irish tech start-ups, saying it favoured multinational companies (MNCs) instead.

As adjunct assistant professor of finance at Trinity College Dublin and the co-founder and director of a number of financial services start-ups, Dr Constantin Gurdgiev was rather keen to see the outcome of this year’s Budget, not from an MNC perspective, but from the perspective of the lifeblood of Ireland’s tech scene — start-ups.

Among the changes that came in as part of yesterday’s budget, the double Irish loophole closure envisioned by the Irish Government came in the form of the now OECD-approved Knowledge Development Box (KDB).

As part of this agreement, R&D and innovation companies would be able to avail of a 6.25pc corporate tax rate, which, while beneficial to companies that fall under the foreign direct investment (FDI) umbrella such as Google and Facebook, does little to benefit a start-up company getting on its feet.

As chair of the Irish Venture Capital Association, Brian Caulfield, put it in a tweet following the budget: “Ireland. The best small country in the world to be Google.”

Having been involved in a panel at the IIA briefing with its CEO Joan Mulvihill, Silicon Republic founder and CEO Ann O’Dea and PwC’s Mairead Harbron and John Murphy (tax manager and tax partner, respectively), Gurdgiev spoke to us afterwards and criticised the Budget as effectively gambling on our future.

“We’re stimulating consumption by taking a credit card out on the future,” he said. “It’s not exactly a positive thing.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic