it@cork welcomes a number of positive measures in the 2019 budget

it@cork, which is the main representative body for the tech sector in the south west believes that whilst there are some very welcome measures in the budget, more could have been done for the Start-up and SME sector.

There were a number of welcome initiatives in budget 2019 for the technology sector including:

  • Corporate tax: The retention of a 12.5% corporation tax is very positive and should encourage further growth and expansion of the technology sector in Ireland.
  • Housing: Income eligibility limits of €50,000 for a single applicant and €75,000 from dual applicant households under the new affordable housing scheme will help the average worker trying to buy a home.  Technology companies are reporting that a lack of suitable accommodation for their employees is impacting their ability to attract and retain the most talented and suitably qualified staff.  it@cork therefore welcomes this scheme as well as any other initiatives that will help to increase the supply of housing in the region.  It remains to be seen whether this will be enough of a stimulus in the short to medium term.
  • Skillnet: it@cork also welcomes the significant increase of €6.3m in funding towards Skillnet Ireland to support workforce skills development.  it@cork manages the ICT skillnet program for the south west region of Ireland.  Such an increase in funding is critical for the technology sector whereby the rate of change is rapid and the workforce therefore needs to upskill continuously.

However, it@cork also feels that more could have been done for technology start-ups and scaling SMEs in the budget.

  • Greater supports for start-ups: Ireland have relatively low start-up rates compared to the majority of EU member states – the second lowest in the EU15 and one-quarter that of the UK.
  • Whilst the increase in the ceiling on the maximum annual market value of share options to 100pc of salary is welcome, the uptake on the KEEP scheme to date has been poor.  We will monitor the effectiveness of this measure closely.
  • The extension for a further three years of Start-up Relief that provides corporate tax relief for profit making start-up companies is welcome.
  • It is disappointing that no improvement was made to CGT relief for entrepreneurs to make it more attractive and reward entrepreneurship in line with the UK equivalent.


About it@cork

it@cork is a member led organisation representing over 200 companies from the technology sector in the south west of Ireland.  We are a member driven organisation that responds to the needs and requirements of technology companies in the region from the start up, sme and mnc sector.  Some examples of this include our member driven skillnet training and development courses, it@cork talent working group and the it@cork tech leaders’ group.

it@cork manages the skillnet program for the ICT sector in the south west of Ireland.  Over 1,230 employees/trainees have participated in it@cork skillnet training since 2014.

Furthermore, it@cork is a member of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) and is active in collaboration opportunities with other European technology clusters.

If you are interested in finding more about it@cork membership, please get in touch.


Get in touch:

Eoghan O’Mahony / Senior Cluster Manager /

Sarah Walsh / Programme Manager /