• Date

    11 Oct 2023
  • Category


Press release: Azets Ireland welcomes new business supports but believes Budget 2024 is a missed opportunity to fully unlock the growth potential of SMEs

Azets Ireland, the professional services firm that specialises in supporting the needs of mid-market, entrepreneurial, owner-managed, and family-owned businesses, has today responded to the publication of Budget 2024 by the Minister for Finance Michael McGrath and the Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform Paschal Donohue.

Speaking following the budget announcement this afternoon, Alma O’Brien, Head of Tax, said: “SMEs across the country will warmly welcome the one-off business supports announced by Government which will help them navigate a challenging environment. A 12% increase in the national minimum wage combined with high inflation and rising labour costs have left many small businesses with tight margins exposed. The €250m support package will help to offset some, but not all, of the additional costs facing SMEs over the coming months.  

“With attracting and retaining talented people one of the top three challenges facing SMEs at present, it has been positive to see the enhanced investment in Local Enterprise Offices, the Department of Enterprise and a strong focus on skills as well as the changes to income tax bands in this budget. Collectively, these changes will help SMEs to hire the right people and ensure they have the skills to succeed amid the twin digital and green transition.

“The new targeted capital gains tax relief for angel investors and the enhancements of the Employment Investment Incentive scheme (EIIS) announced by Minister McGrath will provide a welcome funding boost for Irish start-ups and scale-ups. Although the devil will be in the detail, it could play a key role in boosting investment and providing an attractive source of finance for some entrepreneurs.

“The new subgroup being established by Revenue has enormous potential to simplify business supports for small business and reduce the large tax compliance they face.    

“However, Budget 2024 is a missed opportunity to fully unlock the growth potential of Irish SMEs. With the extreme volatility in the corporate tax intake, there is a continued need to unlock further investment in Irish SMEs so they can scale up. Employing more than a million people and accounting for two-thirds of those in the private sector, SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy, and of communities across the country.

“Our team of trusted experts at Azets Ireland stand ready to provide the practical advice and support that businesses need to navigate the changes brought about by Budget 2024 and succeed into the future.”

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