Economy at Brexit 'disadvantage'
The Irish economy is at a Brexit disadvantage because companies here cannot offer their employees share incentives that are as attractive as those available in the UK and other EU countries.
That was the warning from the Irish ProShare Association (IPSA) as it called on the government to fast-track tax reform and introduce new measures which encourage employee financial involvement in companies.
Gill Brennan, CEO of IPSA, said:
'There are significant opportunities for Ireland to attract companies seeking to establish EU bases in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the bloc - but that means being able to compete when it comes to those companies being able to attract and retain talent.
'Currently Ireland is at significant competitive disadvantage due to our poor employee ownership record and employee share incentive schemes.
'The current tax measures in this area lag the UK and our EU competitors, and we have a short period of time to remedy this.
'The UK has a scheme called the Enterprise Management Incentive which enables share options to be received by employees without any tax bill arising until the shares are sold. This scheme is now being replicated throughout Europe and it would put Ireland at a competitive disadvantage to ignore this and to fail to develop its own version of EMI.
'By offering employees a stake in the business they work in, employees have a vested interest in ensuring that the business thrives and at present in Ireland we cannot do this effectively,' she said.