The Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan announced today some very welcome news in the area of share based remuneration for Irish businesses.

The government has confirmed that it is developing a new share based incentive arrangement for small and medium sized enterprises, to be introduced in Budget 2018. More details will follow once European Commission approval has been obtained for the new proposals, under state aid rules.

This announcement is a very positive development for businesses and recognises that share based incentive programs can be used as a key tool for recruiting and retaining employees and encouraging growth. This development comes on the back of a government commitment to encourage employee financial participation, evidenced by the formal consultation launched this summer to review ways to more effectively incentivise entrepreneurship, in particular to consider the tax treatment of share based remuneration. Such proposals once approved, will enhance Ireland's competitiveness and will afford certain companies an opportunity to review their existing share incentive arrangements and implement the necessary changes to avail of these proposals.

The proposals will be underpinned by legislation and we will keep you updated of all developments in this regard. In the meantime, if you would like further information on how share incentives could benefit your business or have any queries generally around share based remuneration we will be happy to assist.