Fianna Fáil TD for Longford - Westmeath Robert Troy said this week that supporting the self-employed and small to medium sized businesses will be one of his top priorities in the months ahead.
“One of the issues that arose again and again throughout the election was how self-employed people feel abandoned by the Government,” he claimed.
“I believe much more needs to be done to support self-employed people in creating employment in local communities. To help achieve this, we will equalise tax treatment of the self-employed by increasing the earned income tax credit by 300% to €1,650.”
He added that it was time to reform commercial rates for small businesses.
“At the moment commercial rates are prohibitively high and are preventing start-up businesses from expanding. There needs to be some degree of leniency in the system to give small businesses the breathing space they need to grow.”
Deputy Troy added that it was time to introduce a social welfare safety net for self-employed people.
“Currently entrepreneurs are reluctant to commit their time and money to starting up their own business as they are fearful of not having a safety net should they fail. We will overcome this problem by allowing self-employed people to make full Class A PRSI contributions in order to qualify for Jobseekers Benefit and Invalidity Benefit.”
Deputy Troy said that, if in government, his party will appoint a Minister for Rural Affairs who will have responsibility for attracting new jobs and investment into rural areas.