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The Government’s Welfare Plan for Self Employed



The Government’s Welfare Plan for Self Employed

Why do have successive governments excluded the self employed from receiving the dole? This is a question I have often asked myself. Is it fair that some people readily avail of social welfare payments, while others have to prove their insufficient finances by a means tested?

The Government is in the process of bringing in a new plan which will facilitate small business owner’s to receive social welfare payments, if their business goes bust. Presently small business owners are means tested before they receive social welfare payments, whereas PAYE workers can obtain a jobseekers allowance for a period of nine months without having to endure a means test. The means testing process can take over 6 weeks. The self-employed sector was badly affected during the recession and they had to pay a higher rate of USC tax. The Government plans to reduce the USC tax that small business owners are currently paying. Ms Collins, a former accountant said that the state was “punishing” small business owners even though they are the main contributors to our country’s economy.

“What we are doing is standing up and protecting small businesses because they are the backbone of the Irish economy. The way the system is operating now is not fair and we need to make it a level playing pitch,” Ms Collins said. “No one sets up in business to become a failure but then they are punished if something happens, but if you lose your job you are entitled to payment. Small businesses accept we can’t do it overnight, but this has existed for years and it’s wrong. “The old argument was people who are self-employed are creaming money, but that has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. The Revenue is the most effective arm of the State, and small businesses live in fear of being audited so they want to do things right,” she concluded.

The Government hopes that by implementing these plans for the self employed, that it will encourage more people to start up their own business in Ireland. Enda Kenny has frequently said that “Ireland is the best small country in the world to do business”

In this writers opinion small business owners are been inadequately supported by the government. I feel that opening your own business requires bravery, tenacity and effort. It is a massive risky move, and a person needs all the financial help they can in order to make it a success. According to the Small Firms Association, small businesses make up 98% of Irish businesses, yet we are discriminating against them instead of encouraging them. I think if the government puts this plan in place; it will definitely encourage more people to open up their own business, which will hopefully improve the country’s economy.

Image credit: The Journal

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