Our Achievements

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ISME is lobbying on behalf of SMEs. The following are some of the more recent achievements:


  • ISME conducted an extensive grassroots lobbying campaign against the tax discrimination of the self-employed and secured an Earned Income Tax Credit in Budget 2018. The Association is now lobbying to have this increased to the same level as the PAYE tax credit.
  • Successfully lobbied for a decrease to the rate of CGT Entrepreneur Relief in Budget 2017.
  • The Home Renovation Incentive scheme was introduced after ISME lobbied for a similar initiative. The Scheme was then extended in Budget 2017.
  • Restored the standard PAYE allowance to the children of proprietary directors.
  • ISME lobbied for an increase in the tax free voucher allowance from €250 to €500 which was implemented in 2015.


  • ISME consulted with Central Bank to secure changes to the Banking Code of Practice for lending to SMEs which will make it more effective for small businesses.
  • Our lobbying led to an interim solution being reached to eliminate the risk associated with the lack of full bank participation in the SEPA B2B Scheme.
  • ISME successfully lobbied for the introduction of the Microenterprise Loan Fund and the establishment of Microfinance Ireland.
  • The Association lobbied for the introduction of the Credit Guarantee Scheme to alleviate SME lending difficulties.
  • ISME successfully lobbied for the introduction of a Banking Code of Practice and Credit Review Office to free up vital credit for SMEs.
  • The Association was instrumental in the introduction of the Bank Switching Code, which allows small businesses to change banks in a faster and more efficient manner.

Company Law

  • ISME successfully lobbied Government to reduce the administrative costs on SMEs in the Companies (Accounting) Act 2017.
  • The introduction of Examinership Light, to reduce the costs and red tape of examinership.
  • ISME successfully lobbied for an increase in the Audit Threshold whereby the turnover threshold amount which small business are required to be audited was increased from €1.5m to €8.8m.

Public Procurement

  • Secured changes to the Public Procurement Process to make it more accessible to SMEs.
  • Lobbied for the establishment of the Tender Advisory Service.


  • Successfully lobbied for the establishment of the Retail Consultation Forum to aid struggling retailers.
  • ISME was involved in the introduction of revitalising Ireland’s ‘Pilot Town’ Centre Health Check, 2016.


  • ISME successfully campaigned for the retention of the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality and services sector in Budget 2017.

Prompt Payments

  • ISME was part of a group of stakeholders who introduced the Prompt Payment Code and Portal, which was re-launched in March 2017.
  • After much lobbying from the Association we succeeded in getting the new 15 day Prompt Payment requirement for all public sector bodies and agencies (excl. commercial Semi-State bodies).


  • Worked with the CSR Stakeholder Forum to launch a csrhub.ie which helps SMEs to improve their CSR.


  • ISME successfully lobbied for the passage of Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Bill 2018 through all stages in the Oireachtas. ISME has campaigned for the introduction of a statutory perjury offence since 2017 and believes that this legislation is long overdue and is needed to tackle white-collar crime and fraudulent litigation.
  • ISME worked with UEAPME to secure changes to Multi-lateral Interchange Fee regulation in order to make it more SME friendly.
  • ISME lobbied Government to invest more in housing and in construction, €1.83bn was allocated to housing in Budget 2018.
  • ISME lobbied Government to introduce a Shared Based Remuneration Scheme, in Budget 2018 the Government introduced Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP).
  • ISME ran a successful campaign against the introduction of a national sick pay scheme.
  • ISME was instrumental in the setting up of the Advisory Group on Small Business, many of whose recommendations to improve the environment for smaller companies have been approved at Government level.
  • ISME encouraged the Government to allow owner/managers the right to self-manage their pension funds after retirement.
  • ISME was instrumental in the introduction of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
  • ISME has lobbied for support and greater provisions of affordable childcare to assist greater workforce activation amongst women. From September 2017, subsidies are being provided to make childcare more affordable for families.
  • ISME was successful in lobbying Government to introduce Self-employed sick pay for first time from December 2017