Competitiveness Council calling for introduction of site-value tax

Introducing a site-value tax for commercial property to replace the current system of commercial rates should be explored in 2014 , The National Competitiveness Councilsaid in a submission to the Action Plan for Jobs 2014.

Labour market flexibility, cost reductions and a sustainable construction sector essential to deliver jobs and economic growth through boosting competitiveness are at the core of the submission authored by the NCC, which reports to Government on key competitiveness issues for the Irish economy.

Dr. Don Thornhill, chair of the NCC, said that it’s important that the labour market is functioning properly so that job creation is supported and that individuals are not penalised by taking up offers of employment.

“We must also relentlessly pursue actions to drive out cost inefficiencies wherever we find them,” he said, adding that Finally,” a healthy and vibrant economy depends upon interlinked and interdependent sectors”.

“Ireland needs to ensure that the construction sector returns to a sustainable level of activity – supplying essential economic infrastructure, world class office space and residential units”.

Other recommendations aimed at enhancing the operation of the labour market; reducing business costs; supporting entrepreneurship and enterprise development and the construction sector, include:

*the completion of the SOLAS strategic plan by end-March 2014 and the effective implementation of the strategy at local level

*the contracting of private providers to assist with the delivery of labour market activation supports to the unemployed.

*the consolidation of the various labour market activation schemes under a single clearly articulated brand.

*the roll-out of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) (i.e. decoupling housing support from social welfare payments)

*the putting in place of a Legal Services Bill as soon as possible

providing oversight of the commercial waste market by the Competition Authority

*the consolidation of all the various supports available to entrepreneurs and those seeking to grow their business

Members of the Council include Liam Casey, CEO, PCH International; Isolde Goggin, chairperson, Competition Authority; Heather Reynolds, director, Eishtec; and John Herlihy, vice president, and head of Google Ireland. Source: The Irish Times