On 27 and 28 June, the National Economic Dialogue (NED) 2018 took place in Dublin Castle. The NED, now in its fourth year, brings together representatives of community, voluntary and environmental groups as well as members of the Oireachtas, business, unions and research institutes.
The official objective of the NED is to “facilitate an open and inclusive exchange on the competing economic and social priorities facing the Government”. In reality, it is an opportunity for stakeholder groups to voice their main asks for the upcoming Budget, as one-to-one meetings with the Minister for Finance in advance of Budget Day have largely been dispensed with in recent years.
Day one included a plenary session, at which Linda Barry outlined the SFA’s call for a national Small Business Strategy, the importance of avoiding any additional costs for small business in Budget 2019 and the need to address tax anomalies such as Ireland’s high CGT.
Linda Barry and SFA Chair, Sue O’Neill, participated in at two of the afternoon breakout sessions, voicing the needs and concerns of small businesses. The sessions were:
- Reforms for sustainable productivity growth, chaired by Minister Heather Humphreys
- Challenges for State pension funding into the future, chaired by Minister Regina Doherty
On day two, the reports from each breakout session was summarised in the plenary session and Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, delivered the closing remarks of the NED. In these remarks, he specifically mentioned the need to rebalance the economy by supporting indigenous firms as one of his key takeaways.
From an SFA perspective, CGT was a notable recurring theme over the two days. It was raised not only by the SFA, but also by Ibec, the Irish Taxation Institute, the Chair of the National Competitiveness Council and others. Over the coming months, we will be active in highlighting this to Ministers, insisting that October’s Budget tackle the punitive CGT rate of 33% and the inadequate limit on Entrepreneur’s Relief.
To share your views or discuss CGT, the NED or the upcoming Budget, contact Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director, on 01 605 1626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.