Updated: 09/02/17 : 11:44:47
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PRSI Reforms are Good News for Small Businesses - McLoughlin

Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim T.D., Tony McLoughlin, has commented positively the new PRSI reforms announced by Minister Leo Varadkar this week, which he says will benefit small business owners in Sligo and Leitrim.

“PRSI changes initiated by my Fine Gael colleague, Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, have reformed the system, making it easier to take a break from making PRSI contributions, without losing your State pension entitlements.

“This is further evidence of Fine Gael standing up for the self-employed people here in Sligo and Leitrim, in the wake of the tax equalisation measures we have previously introduced. If a self-employed person’s business experiences a bad year or a few bad years and they don’t pay PRSI in those years, they can now protect or improve their right to a contributory State pension, and a pension for their spouse or child's guardian should they die prematurely.

“Fine Gael is supporting growing small businesses and promoting job creation, at a time when we see a 9.3% decline in the live register figures in Sligo, and an 8.58% decline in the live register figures in Leitrim since this time last year.

“The new PRSI measures also benefit people who take early retirement who might otherwise have their State pensions reduced, people who go overseas for a few years and do not pay into an equivalent system, people who retire early due to ill-health, and also parents who decide to stay at home.”

These changes build on the other social insurance reforms introduced by Fine Gael including:

The introduction of Paternity Benefit last year as well as a range of important measures he announced on Budget Day.

From next month the self-employed will have access to the treatment benefit scheme which includes free eye and dental examinations, and contributions towards the cost of hearings aids.

Treatment benefit entitlements will also be extended from October 2017 to provide further dental and optical benefits both for employees and the self-employed.

Even more significantly, self-employed contributors will be eligible for the Invalidity Pension from December 2017.

For the first time, this will give the self-employed access to the safety-net of State income supports if they become permanently incapable of work as a result of an illness or disability without having to go through a means test. This is a real advance in the level of cover available to the self-employed.

Fine Gael is committed to creating 200,000 new jobs by 2020. We are also working to providing better supports to the self-employed, who contribute so much to the economy here in Sligo and Leitrim.