Minister 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.
“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,” said Minister Breen.
“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 Minister for Employment and Small Business.
“This Government continues to support growing small businesses and promoting job creation, at a time when we see a 12.7 per cent decline in the live register figures here in Clare 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.”
“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,” said Minister Breen.
“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,” he concluded.