Last week, Supply.ie asked its customers for their feedback with regard to the changes they would like to see in Budget 2015. With a client base focused on saving money, and users who are mainly SME’s the answers were interesting considering SME’s have been identified as the sector to get Ireland’s economy moving again in 2015. The goal of the poll was to see if the current Government are doing enough to get Ireland moving and the results and comments from respondents are concerning.
With Budget 2015 looming, it is interesting to learn that a range of Government incentives introduced to boost the economy last year may not be benefiting Irish businesses. The survey by supply.ie and sponsored by eFolioAccounts.com, has shown that 89% of Irish Businesses did not benefit from last year’s Home Improvement Benefit Scheme, while only 4% of SME business owner/managers gained from the new reliefs from Capital Gains Tax. Mr. Mike McGrath, founder of supply.ie, commented that “this is very disappointing – with the future of the Irish Economy in the hands of Irish SME’s, it is disheartening that the Governments Budget incentives are not befitting their target audience. We have learnt also that only 5% of SME’s took advantage of the Government’s Trading Online Voucher Scheme, which is a concern as the National Digital Strategy aims to get 25% of businesses trading online by the end of 2015”.
Reduced Tourism-related VAT rate
However, one incentive introduced in recent years seems to bearing fruit with 90% of businesses supporting the reduced Tourism-related VAT rate of 9%. Unsurprisingly, the three main taxes that respondents would like to see reduced are the Universal Social Charge, Income Tax, and a reduction on the Standard rate of tax for Budget 2015.
In terms of cost-reduction and budget cuts, Irish SME’s who took the poll would like to see the Minister for Finance, provide the greatest ‘hair-cut’ in Budget 2015 to the Department of the Taoiseach, Department of Social Protection and the Department of Defence, in that order.
While supply.ie are expert cost controllers, it is no surprise to learn that Irish businesses are hopeful that the Irish Government will help reduce the costs of Rates, Insurance, Energy, Bank Charges and Wage related costs in 2015. Mr. McGrath went on to say that “it is great to get the opinion from the trenches. We are working everyday to help businesses reduce costs and save money, so we, along with the supply.ie network of Irish businesses, are hopeful that the Government plays their part to foster growth in the Irish Economy.”
Please find the Key Findings and SME Comments/opinions anseo.