The Small Firms Association has called for taxes and charges on income to be changed to “level the playing field” for self-employed people and entrepreneurs. 

In its pre-Budget submission, the SFA calls for the self-employed USC surcharge to be ended, and for the introduction of a PAYE credit for proprietary directors.

It also wants the Government to introduce a voluntary PRSI contribution, so that self-employed people can qualify for social welfare benefits if they wish.

The SFA also wants the lower rate of employer PRSI to be halved to 4.25%, while it calls for the Government to do more on the issue of credit and investment for small businesses.

In terms of the overall Budget adjustment, the SFA says the Government should only make the “minimum net fiscal adjustment package needed to reach the 2.9% fiscal deficit target”.

Given the better-than-expected GDP and Exchequer figures so far this year, it says that this should work out as less than the previous estimate of €2bn.