Fine Gael on Local small businesses

‘Bail out Local Traders, not Bond Traders’ – Bruton

As part of Fine Gael’s 5 Point Plan to Get Ireland Working Richard Bruton has said that in Government Fine Gael’s focus will be to bail out local traders, not the bond traders. He was speaking on Friday 11th February, Day 11 of the Election campaign where he set out the specific measures designed to help local traders and business people survive the current recession and begin to plan for the future.

“Ireland’s small businesses have been decimated in the recession. They are starved of credit, shut out by the banks, and denied vital support by a blinkered Government. The number of companies which went out of business last year was double the number in 2008. And thousands of hard-working staff have been laid off by companies struggling to get by, or closing down altogether. This must stop.

“Fine Gael has different priorities to the current Government. We want to bail out the local trader, not the bond trader. The local shopkeeper, retailer, restaurant owner or hairdresser deserves a break. Their costs are too high and jobs are being lost as a result. Fine Gael has a plan that will help all those local traders survive the current recession, keep people employed and provide some hope of growth for the future.

“Specifically, Fine Gael will:

• Test the constitutionality of removing upward only rent reviews;
• Halve employers’ PRSI for low paid jobs for three years;
• Cut the lower rate of VAT from 13.5% to 12% for a period of three years;
• Freeze local commercial rates;
• Introduce a temporary partial loan guarantee for businesses that will start to get credit flowing to viable businesses in a way that NAMA never did;
• Set up a €100 million micro finance fund for new start-up companies.

“We can create more jobs in your community by protecting the local employers. Ireland’s 86,000 small businesses employ more than 700,000 people, creating €90 billion in annual turnover. They are the backbone of the Irish economy, generating 37% of all income tax and collecting more than 50% of gross VAT.

“Fine Gael in government will support more companies, in your neighbourhood, that will employ more people.”