Self-employed tax cuts on way, says Kenny
THE Taoiseach will today signal a tax reduction for self-employed workers in a landmark speech to employers in Dublin.
Enda Kenny told an IBEC conference that he believes self-employed people deserve better treatment in the tax system as they have a key role in driving economic recovery.
The announcement follows intense lobbying, particularly for change in the Universal Social Charge where self-employed people can pay 3pc more than a PAYE employee on the same money.
The Taoiseach pledged a phased move to equal treatment for the self-employed.
"We will also begin the process of equalising the income tax treatment of the employed and the self-employed," he said.
"I want Irish entrepreneurs and small businesses to play a significant role in delivering full employment.
"The discriminatory tax treatment of self-employed people inherited by this government can no longer be justified."
The Taoiseach's comments come after Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin announced the first tentative steps towards a return to some form of national wage bargaining.
Mr Howlin said he plans to set up a national forum to consider pay, tax and government spending priorities.
He said the process would be part of a national dialogue, but insisted "we would not have social partnership in the old sense".
Mr Howlin said the Government wanted greater social involvement in the budgetary process.
He said the national forum had to be inclusive and involve local communities and the opposition parties.
And he said he would bring his plans to the Cabinet first before discussing matters with trade union leaders.
Mr Howlin said the forum structure had not yet been decided and would have to be considered by the Government.
He hoped to have the process established after the publication of the spring statement which is expected some time next month.
IBEC chief Danny McCoy was cautious about national dialogue.
"Business has no interest in a return to one-size-fits-all national pay agreements," he said.
"Any possible future engagement between business, the Government and the unions would only have merit if it was anchored firmly in the need to create jobs and secure competitiveness."