To raise awareness about forthcoming PAYE Modernisation in 2019, Revenue has commenced its awareness campaign by releasing an information leaflet “PAYE Modernisation – Are You Ready”.
This leaflet highlights the vital steps for new and existing employers to undertake in advance of 1st January 2019, in order to succeed in the imminent taxation system revolution.
The key idea behind PAYE Modernisation is that all communication between employer and Revenue will happen in “real time”. In order to effectively overcome the upcoming challenges, employers are being encouraged to focus on the quality and accuracy of the data they provide to Revenue.
In preparation for PAYE Modernisation, employers are advised to follow several easy steps to guarantee its overall success when it does come into effect in 2019:
At Thesaurus Software & BrightPay, we have always strived to deliver excellence in customer service and professional expertise in both Irish and UK payroll. We widely welcome the upcoming PAYE changes. As Paul Byrne, director of Thesaurus Software Ltd, stated during the Revenue's public consultation process held in December 2016:
“Whatever system is adopted, it is important that it represents a step forward for all parties. We are already committed to not charging our customers for the additional development involved. In addition, we are considering making a free version of our software available for micro employers, those with one or two employees.”
With better living standards and expanding economy, it is without doubt that Irish people are now living longer and we have a much healthier society. At the same time, we need to face the fact that with the Irish population inevitably getting older, there is the prospect that senior citizens will have to stay in employment long after they have passed retirement age. It is therefore absolutely vital to address the funding of the Irish pension system now if we want our pensioners to be well-protected in the future.
To tackle this issue, Brian Hayes MEP has called on Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to start work on the introduction of an automatic enrolment pension system, whereby all Irish private sector employees would be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme. As Mr Hayes stated, "a road map needs to be put in place for the introduction of an auto-enrolment system for all Irish businesses. The Cabinet needs to make it a priority to ensure that auto-enrolment is put into Irish Law by 2021. This is something that can be done through cross-party agreement."
In 2012, the UK introduced an automatic enrolment system which is working well and providing long-term sustainability. Automatic enrolment systems have also been introduced in Australia and New Zealand, and similar systems exist in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. These countries are recognised as world leaders in pensions.
Mr Hayes has suggested that Ireland should create its own system, whereby every employee will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, into which they should contribute at least 1 per cent of their monthly salary, to be matched by their employer.
Mr Hayes also added, “In Ireland we are far too dependent on our state pension system. We have a very low take up of workplace pension schemes. Less than 40% of Irish workers are covered by a workplace pension scheme. The best way to deal with both of these problems is through an auto-enrolment system which reduces dependency on the state system and ensures people have additional pension pots built up.”
A recent global study called the ‘Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index’ has stated that Ireland's pension system is good but has serious sustainability problems into the future. Elsewhere, Mercer's report found that Ireland will increasingly struggle to afford the provision of a guaranteed pension for everyone, if the current pension system isn’t addressed.
As part of Budget 2017, a new €35m Single Affordable Child Care Subsidy Scheme will be introduced in September 2017. It is designed to provide parental means-tested subsidies, towards the cost of childcare for children aged six months to 15 years and universal subsidies of up to €80 a month or €900 a year for all children aged between six months and three years. This scheme will replace the existing subsidy schemes – including the Community Childcare Subvention Programme, After-School Child Care Scheme and the Childcare Education and Training Support Programme. As a result, all families, no matter what their income levels, will be entitled to as much as €900 a year, if the child is in 40 hours per week of childcare. The payment will apply on a pro-rata basis of a State subsidy of 50 cent an hour of childcare and will be paid directly to the childcare provider. International research confirms that access to high quality and affordable childcare is particularly important and beneficial for children from lower income families.
In addition to the childcare package, €86m extra has been provided in respect of the full year costs of the extended Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE), the free pre-school scheme, and the roll out of the Access and Inclusion Model, or AIM, to enable children with disabilities to participate in pre-school education.