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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: May 11, 2011 - 7:00 AM

Irish Jobs Initiative: New SME loan scheme can create thousands of new jobs over coming years - - Bruton
By Finfacts Team
May 10, 2011 - 6:10 PM

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Irish Jobs Initiative: Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton today unveiled plans for partial loan guarantee scheme, micro-finance fund, 15-day prompt payment scheme, radical reform of JLC/REAs wage boards, diaspora finders fee scheme and other measures.

Irish Jobs Initiative: VAT and PRSI cut to boost tourism and jobs

Unveiling further details of measures contained in today’s Jobs Initiative announcement, Bruton said:

“Firstly, a partial loan guarantee scheme will be in operation by the autumn. This measure, which operates successfully in most of the countries with which we are competing, will be of particular help to precisely the innovative companies which we are trying to encourage as part of our growth strategy. For every €400m that is guaranteed by the State an additional 4,500 companies can get further credit that will in turn create more than 8,000 jobs.

“Secondly, a micro-finance fund will provide funding for small loans to start-ups. We recognise that the recovery will be driven, in part, by businesses which start up during the recession but many start-ups lack the small amounts of finance that can be the difference between success and failure. This commitment on a micro-finance fund is the government’s contribution to filling this particular gap in the enterprise finance gap
in the market.

“Third, it is clear that Government can also play a key role in improving cash flow to businesses, and from 1st July next, all government bodies (excluding commercial semi states) will be required to pay suppliers within 15 days of receipt of a valid invoice. Given that the public sector enters contracts with suppliers worth €15bn each year, the importance of such a policy for all the companies that do business with the State is clear.

“In terms of reducing costs to business I very much welcome the announcements by my colleagues Ministers Noonan and Varadkar of reductions in employers’ PRSI, a targeted VAT reduction and in the travel tax.

“I would also like to welcome the reversal of the previous Government’s decision to impose employers’ PRSI on share based remuneration. This measure reduces the cost of employment and promotes modern workplace arrangements whereby employees share the rewards of success.

“I recently received the Report of the Independent Review of Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreements, which I will be publishing shortly. The Report says that the system requires radical overhaul so as to make it fairer and more responsive to changing economic circumstances and labour market conditions.

“In particular, there are issues relating to overtime and premium payments for Sunday working, the number of JLCs, and the general functioning and supervision of the system.

“Furthermore, we will be seeking ways to increase take-up of already-existing cost-reducing schemes, including Revenue’s Job Assist and the Employers PRSI Incentive Scheme.

“In the area of research, development and innovation, the change in the R&D tax credit announced today will make Ireland a more competitive location for locating R&D activities, and will thus have a substantial impact on job creation in this vital sector. This technical change, which will be revenue neutral, will allow companies to choose whether to account for the credit against corporation tax or against the cost of employing researchers. This will greatly improve Ireland’s attractiveness to multinationals when comparing operating costs between alternative locations. This change will be included in the forthcoming Finance Bill.

“I will shortly be announcing a further series of R&D investments totalling more than €50m underpinning employment across a number of sectors.

“Finally, two other issues that I am pleased to announce.

“We will shortly be piloting a scheme to incentivise individuals, both in Ireland and among our diaspora, to attract fast-growing emerging international companies which are currently not reached by the IDA. I have had detailed discussions with the IDA and private sector organisations, and details of the scheme will be announced in the coming weeks.

“I am also pleased to announce a range of measures to improve access to public procurement by SMEs. Every 1% increase in public procurement contracts won by small and medium sized firms would deliver €150 million extra in business for this crucial sector.”

SEE: Irish Men without Work - - Male unemployment is now 17.3%, while unemployment among men aged 20-24 is 32.3%.

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