Minister for Finance Statement on Action Plan for Jobs
The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D., today welcomed the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs:
“The Government’s primary objective is to support the creation of jobs. The Action Plan for Jobs launched today provides a series of actions that will assist in meeting this objective. Departments’ and Agencies’ implementation of each action will be continually monitored and this is essential to ensure this country meets the Taoiseach’s objective of becoming “the best small country in the world in which to do business”.
In Budget 2012, I introduced a number of targeted measures designed to support job creation in key sectors of the economy and to enhance the attractiveness of Ireland as a destination for multinational companies. The focus of the Budget and the Finance Bill was to support the creation of jobs in the short term, the medium term and the long term.
Last week, I published the Finance Bill that will put many of my Department’s actions under the Action Plan for Jobs into effect, including:
The Special Assignee Relief Programme;
The Foreign Earnings Deduction;
The Corporation tax exemption for start ups extended to 2014;
Range of measures to support the International Financial Services Sector
The further improvement of the R&D tax credit system to make it easier for small companies to invest in R&D; and
The improvement of our tax system for businesses through efficiencies in administration and the extension of double taxation agreements.
These new taxation measures will assist both domestic and foreign companies to grow and create jobs. The approach adopted in the Budget and in the Finance Bill is to use the limited available resources to develop specific targeted measures. These measures are focused on areas which have the best employment potential and returns for the investment of public money.
The specific measures will also be supported by the Government’s overall taxation policy as set out in the last budget, which did not increase income taxes. In the Budget, I also reaffirmed Ireland’s commitment to our 12.5% corporation tax rate and the VAT reduction for the tourism sector introduced as part of the jobs initiative.
As well as supporting job creation, the Government is committed to enhancing the rewards for work, particularly for the lowest paid. Indeed 330,000 of those who earn the least were taken out of the Universal Social Charge. The Governments approach to taxation is to introduce measures that incentives enterprise and employment. The required revenue raising measures focused on wealth and non labour intensive indirect taxes, as happened in the last budget. Evidence shows that increasing tax in these areas has a better employment outcome than increasing taxes on work and employment.
Under the Action Plan for Jobs, my Department also has an important role to play in the restructuring of the Banking sector. Our actions are ensuring that it is focused on providing credit to sustainable businesses. The pillar banks have made commitments to lend to the SME sector have been set ambitious lending targets by the Government of €3.5bn in 2012 and €4bn in 2013. Both banks were required to sanction lending of at least €3 billion in 2011 and have indicated that they have achieved this target
The Action Plan includes measures to ensure that the Enterprise Development Agencies and the Banks are working together to make it easier for businesses to access credit and to receive advice and assistance from the banks.”