Call for Tax Spreading To Help Business Recovery

Seanad Eireann candidate Peter Finnegan is calling on the government to establish an online ‘Reconstruction and Change Ideas Bank’ and for Revenue to flexibly address business taxes due for year end 2019/20.

Peter Finnegan, Seanad NUI panel candidate said, “Last week was tough on many businesses and workers. Faced with, in some sectors, the complete collapse of business, companies small and large were closing shop and at best reducing staff. I know two friends who spent years investing time, energy and money building up not just their businesses but teams of dedicated staff who have had the stressful experience of having to lay off staff. The rebuilding of these businesses will not be easy and the hardest period will be the year after we return to normality.”

“For these businesses and many others their 2019/20 tax returns fall due in September of 2020. They are currently holding funds to pay those taxes. For small business, especially in the hospitality and tourism sectors, the need for working capital can only be met by dipping into what they are holding as tax returns for Revenue. Revenue should now take a decision to allow for a spreading of the tax liability due from 2019/20 over the two year period 2020/21 and 2021/22, allowing small businesses to use the funds set aside for tax liability to fuel their recovery. Such a tax-spreading approach would also enable those businesses to retain staff even on a part-time basis over the coming eight weeks.”

“While our priority is to maintain the focus on protecting public health and saving lives, we also need to be ahead of the curve in respect of the rebuilding of our economy when this real and present danger has passed.  As government has repeatedly said, the strongest weapon in our armoury is the strength of community and individuals in taking the necessary social distancing and personal hygiene measures to slow the virus. Now is the time to invite our nation’s community to contribute to a collective ideas bank that can influence and inform planning for the recovery.

He continued, “The provision of an online national ‘Reconstruction and Change Ideas Bank’ will facilitate the crowd sourcing of the knowledge and wisdom of our people. Dealing with the present emergency has given many people ideas about what could change in our economic model, in our education system and in society. We should harvest now those ideas , create an online form of the Citizens Assembly that has served us well, and be ready to embark not just on a reconstruction of what existed before , but on the building of a new order with changes that are long overdue in how our economy and society operates.”

“Every cloud can have a silver lining. We need leadership that creates a new vision of what Ireland post-Coronavirus can be as a society and economy. Let’s free that silver lining by harnessing the ideas and knowledge of our people.”

Peter Finnegan is an Independent for Change Candidate in the NUI Panel for Seanad Eireann. A former Director of Economic Development & International Relations with Dublin City Council, Peter has also worked with FAS on Employment Programmes and Social Inclusion.


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