IPSA is keen to continue the strong working relationship we have established with the government in recent years with whichever parties form the next government after the General Election.
Our policy objectives for 2020 include implementing a new Revenue-approved employee ownership scheme to ease the succession crisis; improving the existing KEEP scheme; scrapping employee PRSI and USC contributions on employee share ownership schemes, and protecting the interests of our members and their employees.
- Employee Ownership Trusts: These could be a silver bullet for the looming SME succession crisis. EOTs allow owner operators to realise the value of their hard work by selling the business to their employees in a gradual and tax-efficient manner. They have proven very successful in the UK, and IPSA is working with our counterparts in ProShare to identify how such a similar system would work in Ireland.
- KEEP: The changes announced to the Key Employee Engagement Programme in Budget 2020 are welcome but more are needed to ensure that the scheme properly serves the start-up and SME sector it is intended to. IPSA will continue working with the Department of Finance to try and achieve these changes.
- SAYE: As the UK leaves the EU, the Brexit threat remains for 12,000 Irish SAYE account holders with savings in UK banks. IPSA will continue to press the Government in order to ensure that a solution is found so that these Irish workers do not miss out on SAYE share scheme benefits because of events outside of their control.
- PRSI and USC: PRSI and USC has been levied on employee contributions to Approved Profit-Sharing Schemes (APSS) since 2012. This equates to 4% for PRSI and up to 8% for USC. IPSA believes that the time is overdue for this levy to removed.
IPSA will also be conducting a undertaking research into the current landscape of employee ownership in Ireland, in order to gather data which can inform future decision making as we strive to make employee share ownership as appealing and accessible as possible to businesses throughout Ireland.