By Cate McCurry, PA
Remote workers have welcomed a decision to introduce a 30 per cent income tax reduction to cover the cost of domestic bills for people who work at home.
Sitting at his desk in a remote part of West Cork, John Riordan said the Government’s decision is a step in the right direction.
Mr Riordan has been working from his home in the Mizen peninsula for almost five years.
As part of Budget 2022, the Government confirmed that remote workers will be boosted by allowing a 30 per cent income tax reduction for increases in broadband, heat and electricity costs.
Minister @Paschald has announced an income tax deduction amounting to 30% of the cost of vouched expenses for heat, electricity and broadband in respect of those incurred while working from home #Budget2022 pic.twitter.com/KSjakSOBJT
— Department of Finance (@IRLDeptFinance) October 12, 2021
Mr Riordan, a director of support at Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify, described the move as “progress”.
“The Government also said that remote work is a cornerstone of continued economic growth which is a strong statement,” he added.
“This is now the time to ensure that service and utility providers to take steps to facilitate this initiative.
“Thousands of people will start asking for an annual statement to claim tax relief, so let’s work now to enable that to go smoothly, so we don’t end up having people scrambling around to try and claim tax relief and then having the benefit spoiled.
“We need utilities to be aware of that and businesses to embrace remote working as a standard practice.
“We heard Paschal Donohoe say that they see this as a pillar of climate policy.”
Mr Riordan, who is also the chairman of Grow Remote, urged companies to listen to employees who work remotely.
He added that remote working could be a “significant driver” of economic growth.
“The Government has in the last six months made significant investment in remote work hubs and that is very important step, because every Euro spent in local community is a significant accelerator,” he added.
“It is also a significant element to right the regional imbalance we have in Ireland.
“We have to end people putting a laptop and phone in their backpack and travelling for hours to then take the same laptop and phone out to sit at a desk. The last year and a half shows how effective many employees can be.
“These changes are good, but we need to keeping looking forward.”