Minister of State for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen said the PRSI reforms announced by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar, will benefit small business in Clare.
Varadkar’s reforms of the PRSI system will make it easier for people to take a career break without losing their state pension entitlements. The reforms, which will make it less problematic to make voluntary contributions under the PRSI system, will also benefit self-employed people, those who move abroad temporarily and people who take early retirement.
In a statement released to The Clare Herald, Breen said “The changes will make it easier for those who are self employed or running small businesses to take a break from making PRSI contributions, without losing their State pension entitlements. Small businesses and the self employed sector are the back bone of our economy and are particularly essential in the future economic stability of rural Ireland.
“These tax equalisation measures will ensure that 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,” added the Clare Fine Gael TD.
He referenced the 12.7% drop in people signing on the live register in Clare as a sign that the growth of small businesses and job creation is being supported. “From next month the self-employed will also 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,” Pat concluded.