Local TD Denis Naughten has called for greater awareness to be made available of existing Government supports for local business which can protect existing jobs and help to create new ones.
Address a small business forum at the Bank of Ireland in Roscommon Town today (Friday), Denis Naughten said that the State presently provides a range of supports to help enterprises run their businesses better, reduce costs and help job creation but take-up of some of these schemes by businesses has been less than optimal.
For example Revenue’s Job Assist scheme, which allows employers generous tax deductions if they employ a person who has been unemployed for 12 months or more, has been taken up by only a few hundred people even though in excess of 153,000 people have been unemployed for 12 months or longer.
“Employees themselves can also benefit from additional tax allowances, yet the uptake has been small,” stated Denis Naughten. “In the past 18 months, neither the Employer’s PRSI Incentive Scheme nor the FAS Work Placement Programme, which can help to get people off the dole, have reached their targets.
“And, despite the reports I’m hearing from individual businesses about the lack of access to credit I am disappointed by the fact that only 40 applications have been submitted to the Credit Review Office. This office was specifically established to help SMEs and farm borrowers who had an application for credit declined or reduced, and who feel that they have a viable business proposition.
“Many of these schemes can provide valuable assistance to local businesses, which are struggling to survive at the moment.
“While there is no doubt that there are issues with the application of these schemes, it seems bizarre that there have been so few targets achieved on schemes which can benefit employers and their staff,” concluded Denis Naughten.