Dublin, Ireland 5th April 2016: Entrepreneur and independent Seanad candidate, Sean Melly, has warned that Ireland must urgently improve the Start-Up & SME investment environment to stem a loss of businesses to the UK.
“SME’s are the backbone of this country, they account for 68% of total employment in Ireland and some 730,000 jobs but new companies are increasingly looking to the UK for funding and relocation because of its more friendly policy towards investment,” says Mr. Melly, an entrepreneur with over 20 years experience investing in, and working with, Irish entrepreneurs through his company Powerscourt Investments.
“I’ve been working with and teaching Irish entrepreneurs for decades. I know what government policies are needed to help SMEs grow and flourish.“, says Mr. Melly, who has over the years become increasingly involved in policy formation.
“I was happy to support the Irish Venture Capital Association in their pre-budget presentation to the Oireachtas Finance Committee last year. One of key issues coming out of that presentation was the high rate of Capital Gains Tax in this country. At 33%, it is inordinately high, compared to our UK counterparts. I was pleased to see that Minister Noonan changed the rate of CGT in Budget 2016, reducing it to 20% for €1m of gain however, I think that the Government needs to go one step further. Entrepreneurs building a business are often taking high risks and this type of ‘productive’ capital gains should be subject to lower CGT. I don’t believe this should be applied to ‘unproductive’ investments, such as purchased land that is lies dormant before being sold on. That is not productive for the economy and such investments should be subject to a higher or normal CGT.” “The government urgently needs to do more to improve the tax environment in Ireland for entrepreneurs and I am determined to see this happen.
Commenting on Mr. Melly’s work in this area, former Chairman of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, Dr. Liam Twomey, acknowledged the importance of having good business people involved in politics. “I think that it is very important that all people in business engage in politics and Sean is a great example of the positive change they can bring about. Business people are people of action; they can spot the opportunity, identify the difficulty and easily find the solution. SMEs are the lifeblood of every city, town and village in this country. I know that if Sean gets elected to the Seanad, he will be a Senator who will be a powerful voice for this sector and build on the good policy work he has already achieved.”