News & Events

Record Enterprise Capital allocation to support jobs in all regions- #Budget17

€555 million in Capital Grants secured by Minister Mitchell O’Connor.

Means a 10% jump in the Jobs budget

Government delivering on Regional Jobs commitment with largest enterprise allocation in over a decade

Small Business, Entrepreneurs and Self Employed to benefit from tax change.

Extra Staffing resources secured for Brexit response 

11th October, 2016 

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor has secured a 10% increase for her Department’s capital allocation in Budget 2017 to bring it to €555 million. 

It represents the largest increase in the Department’s Capital Budget for over a decade. 

It includes an extra €52 million to support further job creation, innovation and support Irish companies help to respond to the challenges and opportunities from Brexit. 

The Minister is targeting the creation of 40,000 – 45,000 new jobs in the economy next year to continue the momentum generated in 2016. 

The additional funding demonstrates Government’s ongoing commitment to delivering 200,000 additional jobs by 2020 of which 135,000 will be in the regions. 

The Minister wants both the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to bring the job numbers in their client companies to over 200,000 each next year. 

IDA will see its capital funding grow by 22% to €137m. Some of the additional monies will enable the IDA to progress 3 more new Advance Facilities in the regions, with new builds planned for Dundalk, Limerick & Galway next year. 

Enterprise Ireland is being provided with a total Exchequer capital allocation of €185 million. €63m of this (+ 12% ) focusing on its general enterprise development and business supports and €122m (+3.7%) for its Research and Development supported activities. 

To support the Regional Action Plans for Jobs, Enterprise Ireland will also roll out a series of competitive regional funds to support collaborative approaches to job creation projects across the regions in 2017. 

The Local Enterprise Offices’ (LEOs) will see their capital funding grow by 22% to €22.5m, recognising their potential to generate start-ups and job creation at local level. 

Minister Mitchell O’Connor has also secured some additional Pay monies which will provide for 50+ new posts for the Department and its Agencies to position Ireland to respond to Brexit and to work with companies based in Ireland to help them respond to the challenges and opportunities of Brexit. 

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor together with Minister of State for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen TD and Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD today held a press conference to unveil details of the Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation elements of Budget 2017. 

Today the Government has accepted the recommendation of the Low Pay Commission to increase the National Minimum Wage to €9.25 and welcome the increase in the new 2.5% USC band to €18,772 to ensure minimum wage workers are kept within this new lower band. 

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: 

“Budget 2017 is pro-enterprise and pro-jobs. I’m particularly delighted to have secured the largest capital increase by the Department in over a decade. 

The Enterprise Agencies are currently delivering an extra 70 jobs per day and their supported companies are contributing well in excess of €40 billion euros to the economy annually. 

I want our Agencies to use the additional capital money that I have secured for 2017 to continue that level of jobs progress next year. 

It is clear that our Agencies are playing a leading role in contributing to Government’s overall target of delivering an extra 200,000 jobs by 2020. So my aim is that 2017 sees delivery of a further 40,000 to 45,000 new jobs across the economy next year.“ 

“The Budget contains many measures that will assist business become more competitive and cope with the impact on Brexit. Importantly, we have secured additional Pay monies which will provide for an extra 50 staff for the Department and its Agencies. The staff will be specifically tasked with assisting companies adjusting to the challenges faced from Brexit, securing new business and innovation opportunities and diversifying into new markets.” 

“There are also a number of changes to the taxation treatment of entrepreneurs, self-employed and SMEs which are to be welcomed. The budget is a cautious one, which is appropriate to our economic needs while we continue to invest in our future jobs potential.” 

Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen T.D., said: “The Government has identified regional and rural job creation as a priority. We also have to factor in the impact of BREXIT and the challenges it will pose. I welcome the extra resources that our agencies will benefit from in particular Enterprise Ireland to support its clients in the face of BREXIT and grow Irish exports globally. EI will also invest in new job creation initiatives in every region. The additional funding to the LEOs under my remit will see a renewed push for new start up businesses and job creation in every county. The target is between 40,000-45,000 new jobs next year, with the same number again created indirectly. 

Today sees the Government agreement to raise the National Minimum Wage. I recognise the importance of this for low paid workers to increase the NNW to €9.25 per hour, and the tax changes that will further help lower paid workers. 

As Minister for Small Business I am pleased that the first budget of this Government is taking necessary steps to support our Entrepreneurs and SMEs. We know that 99.8% of all enterprises in Ireland are SMEs, accounting for nearly 70% of private sector employment - so SMEs really matter to this economy. We also know that historically two thirds of new jobs in Ireland have been created by companies in their first five years - so it is important that these new companies start and grow. The measures introduced in today's budget will support those people who take a risk to start a business, and those that continue to take risks in growing and creating jobs." 

Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan T.D. said:  

“Continued investment in innovation and research and development is crucial for attracting, creating and maintaining high-value jobs as well as developing and nurturing scientists and a skilled workforce. The increased budget of just under €323m for my Department’s Innovation Programme will also help ensure Ireland delivers on the vision set out in Innovation 2020 for a strong sustainable economy and better society through excellent, talented and impactful research and development.” 

Among the new pro-jobs taxation measures announced today are: 

·   Increased take home pay for low and middle-income workers from further reductions in the Universal Social Charge rates. The maximum marginal rate is now 49% for those   earning below €70,044. 

  • Successful entrepreneurs will now have a lower 10% rate for the Capital Entrepreneur Relief. This will encourage and reward those who take the risk to start a business which successfully generates growth and jobs. 
  • A new SME Share Option Scheme will be introduced in Budget 2018. 
  • Self-employed people will benefit from an earned income credit of €950, a €400 increase. This continues the move to equal treatment with employed workers. 
  • The 9% VAT rate continues for certain tourism related and labour intensive activities. 
  • Reaffirming of Ireland’s long-standing commitment to our transparent certain 12.5% corporate tax rate and our competitive corporate tax regime. 
  • To encourage diversification to growth markets, the Foreign Earnings Deduction is being extended to 2020 and the number of qualifying days reduced to 30 days.
  •  To provide certainty for foreign direct investment planning, the Special Assignee Relief Programme has been extended to 2020.



For more information contact Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Press Office, 631 2200 or 

Note to Editors

Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation 2017 Allocation

  • The total Exchequer allocation to the Department will be €858 million in 2017, consisting of €555 million in Capital (grants & property) and €303 million in Current (Pay, Pensions & day-to-day running costs of the Department/Offices & Agencies).
  • This represents an increase of €58 million (+7%) overall on the 2016 allocation.
  • Minister Mitchell O’Connor has secured the largest Capital allocation and increase for the Department in over a decade with an additional €52million in capital.
  • This represents a 10% increase over 2016. [2017 capital base of €555 million compared to €503 million capital base in 2016.]
  • The Minister will use this additional funding to continue the country’s Jobs creation momentum with 40,000+ new additional jobs targeted next year to drive unemployment down further.
  • Approximately 70 new jobs are created with the support of the enterprise agencies each day.
  • Typically through the economic multiplier effect each additional agency supported job leads to the creation of another job in the economy.
  • In terms of Current monies, the Minister has secured additional Pay to enable the appointment of 50+ people for the Department and Agencies to support the enterprise response to Brexit.
  • The precise distribution of the 2017 Current expenditure allocations across the Department, Offices and Agencies will be determined as always through the Revised Estimates Volume process with the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform during November 2016.
  • IDA’s Capital Budget will increase by 22% to €137 million – largest in over a decade.
  • This will enable the IDA to grow employment in its client base which currently stands at 187,000 people.
  • EI’s Capital Budget for enterprise development and business supports to clients will increase by 12% to €63million.
  • EI will be supplementing this Exchequer allocation through use of Own Resource Income of a similar level to ensure continued growth across the EI supported client base, which currently employs over 192,000 people.
  • The Minister has set a target for both Enterprise Ireland and the IDA to directly support over 200,000 jobs each in the economy next year.
  • The Local Enterprise Offices will see their capital budget increase by 21% to €22.5million. The Minister has set a target of 5,000 additional jobs to be supported by the LEOs by the end of next year.
  • JEI Innovation Supports - Budget 2017 sees a 5% increase (+€15.6 million) in the Budget for the Department’s Innovation Programme with a Capital provision of just under €323 million (up from €307 million in 2016).
  • Of the €323 million in capital supports across the JEI Innovation programme –
  • Science Foundation Ireland is being provided with €162.5 million – an increase of €5.5 million (+3.5%) over 2016 levels
  • Enterprise Ireland’s funding of R&D supports will total €122 million – an increase of €4.47m (+3.7%)
  • The 2017 budget also provides for an increase in Ireland’s membership funding of the European Space Agency (ESA) Programme bringing our national funding contribution to €17.79 million, up €500k (+3%)
  • The budget for the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) will see an increase of €3.8m bringing it to €14.2 million in 2017 (+37%).
  • The Tyndall National Institute will receive and increased budget of €4.5 million in 2017 - up €1m (+28%).
  • The budget for the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) will see an increase of €3.8m bringing it to €14.2 million in 2017 (+37%). 


Significant announcements from the Budget 

The Dept Capital funding in 2017 sees double –digit percentage increases in capital funding being provided to IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices 

The Enterprise agencies are directly supporting over 411,000 jobs in Ireland and the aim is to increase that to over 437,000 jobs during 2017. The multiplier effect means the overall ambitions of the Ministers is to add between 40,000 and 45,000 jobs to the economy next year. 

Companies being supported by our Enterprise Agencies have delivered approximately 70 NET new jobs every day. 

Local Enterprise Offices (LEO’s)

To ensure a very strong focus on regional development, the capital allocation to the LEO’s is increasing by over 21%

This will significantly boost business startups and microenterprises in every county.

LEO clients directly employ over 32,000 people in startups, small and micro-enterprises across the regions.


The IDA capital base is up 12% increasing from €112million to €137 million

This will assist IDA to further progress their Advanced Facilities/Regional Property Programme and continue supporting its client cohort which currently employees over 187,000 people in Ireland.


Enterprise Ireland’s capital is increasing by 12% rising from €56 million to €63 million in 2017. To continue supporting its client cohort of Irish industry, which currently employs over 192,000 people to grow exports and jobs