Business representative group Ibec has called on the Government to increase supports for indigenous business in the Budget.

At the National Economic Dialogue in Dublin today, the group will ask Government to address competitive pressures for companies, such as the threat of Brexit and attracting and retaining staff.

Ibec President Edel Creely said that while there is exceptionally strong growth momentum in the Irish economy, significant competitiveness pressures are emerging. 

"The single biggest challenge facing Irish business now is the attraction and retention of talent, so we need to do much more around housing and long-term investments that ease capacity pressures," Ms Creely said.

Ibec also said that Ireland's broader investment tax environment for indigenous business is an outlier in its lack of attractiveness by international norms. 

"We have the third highest capital gains tax rate in the OECD, a stamp duty regime on shares which is the highest in the world (twice that of the second highest) and an R&D tax credit which is far too complicated for smaller firms to engage with," the Ibec President said.

"This unfavourable treatment of investment by indigenous business cannot be allowed continue if we are serious about growing indigenous companies that can compete internationally," she added.

Meanwhile, the Small Firms Association also wants more support for smaller, homegrown companies, and is calling on the Government to shift its focus away from multinationals.

"We need a national Small Business Strategy, placing a clear focus on the 98% of businesses employing half the private sector workforce, which are the lifeblood of towns and villages around the country," commented Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director. 

"It is time for a plan to boost the number and performance of small businesses. It would give these businesses a better chance of succeeding and provide Ireland with a more resilient indigenous enterprise base," she added.