Joan Mulvihill’s response to Budget 2016.
40 Pre-Budget Submissions, one meeting. The ROI of time spent lobbying government is questionable when you are left asking yourself if they didn’t understand the problem much less the proposed solution.
The budget comes around like Christmas every year and this was like a not-so-secret Santa Christmas. Everyone knew what they were getting and what they were getting was socks. It was a great budget for those who needed socks. It was a pretty okay budget for those who didn’t need socks but believe that you can never have too many pairs. But for the rest it was disappointing. The innovating entrepreneurs got socks but that were so ill-fitting we wonder if they’d bother to check for size. Did they really just give us the FDI pattern socks in the traditional entrepreneur’s size with a stretchy fabric in the hope we wouldn’t notice?
I deliberately use the term ‘innovating entrepreneurs’ to reflect the parlance of the Department of Finance. In their own recognition of the difference between traditional business entrepreneurs and those developing disruptive, innovative businesses and business models we’d hoped they’d understood our different needs.
Our socks are just too small! A reduction in CGT from 33% to 20% falls short on two counts. Firstly, it only applies to a maximum of €1million over a lifetime and secondly it’s still nowhere near the 10% in the UK.
Our socks have holes in them! The government’s failure to address the shortcomings of the longwinded and overly complex EIIS scheme makes us less attractive as a place to start a business. The government have not addressed the very specific request for support in access to early stage investment. Budget 2016 allows you to raise €5million in a year instead of €2.5million. Big deal! The problem is the Small Deal! For early stage funding they could have provided better income relief for people willing to invest small amounts and furthermore they should have simplified the process. The uptake of the scheme in its current form is pitifully low. This budget will not change that. This hole in our socks is going to lead to leakage of more and more start-ups to set up in the UK where they can access the finance they need.
Our socks keep falling down! Innovating entrepreneurs need people to work for them. They need employees who are willing to forgo better paid jobs in FDI companies, who are willing to risk their own financial security to work in a start-up and with that risk should come some reward. Where are their share option schemes that recognise employee’s roles in supporting an innovative entrepreneurial economy? Certainly nowhere in Budget 2016. This government talks the talk on a global war for talent but when it comes to walking the walk they should try these socks for size and tell me that they’d do it!
I’ve run out of sock analogies! At a stretch I’d say that if the Emperor’s New Clothes included a pair of socks they would be presented to him in a Knowledge Box. That is to say, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. The Knowledge Box will offer the opportunity to further reduce your corporation tax from a generous 12.5% to 6.25% for profits directly derived from ‘qualifying R&D’ carried out in this jurisdiction. It’s yet unclear as to what is going to qualify as ‘qualifying R&D’. And until they sort out the R&D tax credits timing issues it will all be too little too late for the start-up.
This is painful for me to write. I had such high hopes. We wrote our list and posted it to the North Pole, Kildare Street back in July. Ministers have come out for every Web Summit sleigh ride, Start-Up Gathering grotto and Awards night turkey dinner. But behind their jolly smiles and ho ho hos they were just the fake Santa’s you see on every street and at every party. Let’s hope we have enough spirit left to try again next year. “I do believe, I do believe”….
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D., today [Wednesday] announced a call for proposals for the Dublin City of Science programme of events in 2012.
‘Rebuilding Ireland’s international reputation for excellence in science and technology will be crucial to achieving growth and getting people back to work. I am developing a plan to put science, technology and innovation at the centre our growth and jobs policies. Part of this will involve showing to the world that we are a creative, innovative, scientific nation.
‘Dublin City of Science 2012, a highly prestigious event which was won in the face of stiff competition, offers a perfect opportunity to show the world what we can do. I think we should all get involved in this programme and help promote Ireland to the world as a centre of innovation and creativity in science and technology,’ the Minister said speaking at the launch.
The call, which will remain open until 30 June 2011, is seeking proposals for a year-long programme of events to engage the citizens of the island of Ireland in science. It is hoped to devise a programme of events that will demonstrate the reach of science into almost every aspect of our lives – education, business, the arts, sports and our communities.
Partnerships will also be sought with organisations and individuals who wish to develop events that will encourage the public to engage with science.
Dublin City of Science 2012 will showcase Irish expertise and creativity that will firmly place Ireland on the map for science excellence.
Speaking at the launch, Professor Patrick Cunningham, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government said that: ‘the primary purpose of this call is to identify events that creatively engage with science and the public.
‘This could be by way of promoting an existing event, activity or idea. It could be something completely new, something you’d like to develop within your own organisation or institution, or in partnership with others. I would welcome activities in any format, indoor or outdoor, through the medium of theatre, film, exhibitions, workshops, debates, interactive dialogues, online events, the list is endless,’ Prof. Cunningham concluded.
Also at the launch today was the Dublin City of Science 2012 Project Director, Mr. David Fahy. He highlighted the importance to include events from a wide and varied reach.
‘While it is Dublin that is the City of Science, it is central to us that a programme is developed that stretches to include the whole island of Ireland.
‘I would urge those with an interest in science and technology and their impact on art, literature, music, sport, communities, the economy, society in general to submit proposals, Mr. Fahy concluded.
The call is available at www.dublinscience2012.ie/pep
The IIA would like to congratulate the eight member companies who made this prestigious list and wish them all the best in the EMEA Fast 500. The Fast 500 pools all Fast 50 winning companies from Europe, Middle East and Africa and ranks them accordingly.
Congratulations to Software Asset Management Ireland, winners of the Technology Fast 50 Awards 2010. View all the winners here.
The programme ranks the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in Ireland based on percentage revenue growth over a five-year period. This year the following eight IIA Member Companies were honoured. (Position in brackets):
- Roomex (3)
- Daft.ie (4)
- Avvio (7)
- Cartrawler (15)
- Espion (36)
- Newsweaver (41)
- Texthelp (44)
- Arekibo (49)
On behalf of our members and all the right thinking people of the world if you are going to surf the web try to do it in the newest browser possible. This means, at time of writing, depending on your own tastes and the type of operating system (OS) you are running you should be using Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3, Opera 9.64, Safari 4 or Google Chrome. Clicking on any of those links will bring you to the latest version. There are also other browser types available but these are the most commonly used. Click here to find out more about Browser statistics.
Now, of course, I am aware that in some larger organisations the end user doesn’t control the software that is installed on their machine. However if your job involves you using a browser you should encourage the powers that be to let you do your job to the best of your ability by installing the latest technology.
Why do we give a hoot what browser version you are using? Here’s why:
- Developers and designers have their hearts broken trying to create brilliant websites that cover multiple browser types. They will generally be realistic and develop/design for the latest version minus one so if you’re using IE6 you’re currently a heartbreaker.
- IE6 in particular is considered a low point in browser history. Don’t just take my word for it. Read this, this, and this for starters.
- This leads to item no 3. Money saving: The Bring down IE6 campaign suggests that the 20% of web users using IE6 are “business users” “who “pressure designers to ’force’ sites to work in IE6, and designers, not wanting to lose business, comply, using hacks and workarounds. This wastes time and money.” That time and money (your time and money!) could be spent more cost-effectively surely?
- Security: the latest browser versions will generally protect you against the latest web-borne security threats. Generally. I’m not getting into a discussion about bugs in browsers and hacks but I’ll moderate one if you wish to leave a comment on this issue. I’m not a security expert but I’m hoping some of our readers might be able to expand on this in the comments below.
- Because browsers are free. It’s nice to get free stuff isn’t it?
- Just to be cool, like. One of the most fun events I attended last year was the Firefox 3 launch party 🙂
Welcome to our newest members ThinkSmart who have just joined the IIA. ThinkSmart are a small and growing ebusiness, technology, management and marketing consultancy and training company.
They specialise in working with small to medium businesses to help them grow or develop to maximise their potential. They have a vast range of international business and consulting experience, and over the last year have begun to focus on working with businesses in Ireland, beginning initially in the Southwest with their headquarters in Killarney and have recently opened an office in Dublin.
Bruno Sardo made a presentation at last week’s IIA Congress about Dell’s social networking. He mentioned in particular their very proactive IdeaStorm which is a simple but brilliant use of Web 2.0 technologies. If something is bugging you about your Dell product, they want you to come online and tell them about it. I know it’s very à la mode to swear at the moment (thank you Biffo) but if you write coherently about your idea for improving your Dell product, other users can vote whether they also think this is a good idea. At the time of writing there was a suggestion that all power cables should be standardized. I reckon this is a great idea so I am choosing to promote this idea. Click click click and it’s done. So simple.
In his blog post about his experience at our Congress last week, Bruno writes, “The overwhelming feedback I received directly and indirectly was that people got by far the most out of the case studies and hearing from businesses who are learning by doing.” He then goes on to write about Barry Meehan’s presentation about his WorldwideCycles blog, “Barry shared some people will drive all the way from Dublin to buy their bike or supplies from his shop, and now that their store is eCommerce enabled they get orders from all kinds of places. An online order was placed last week from Italy for a €3,000 bicycle. When Barry posted a video on the blog showing how to clean your bike after a race, he saw sales of the cleaning product he used in the video quadruple almost overnight!”
In the comments to Barry’s post I notice that Aedan from Puddleducks is planning to start a blog. I am thrilled to read this on both a professional and personal level. Professionally because I know Aedan took a positive experience and inspiration (and indeed a raffle prize!) away with him last Thursday. On a personal level, I know two nippers who are off to the zoo today in their “fireman suits” purchased from Puddleducks and I look forward to reading more from PuddleDucks. (No pressure Aedan, I swear!)