Dedicated government unit required to combat Brexit fallout.
Increase of 3,334 in long-term unemployed a concern.
Thursday 7th July, 2016.
At the release of the latest CSO Live Register figures today (7thJuly) ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, called on the Government to prioritise cost competitiveness to allow SMEs plan for growth and job creation. The Association demanded that a dedicated unit within the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation be set up to coordinate the various strands of activity to counter the negative effect of the Brexit vote.
The Association welcomed the reduction of 40,637 on the Live Register in the year to June but highlighted the monthly increase of 3,334 in the long-term unemployed which now stands at 143,832.
Commenting on the figures ISME, CEO, Mark Fielding said, “In the aftermath of the Brexit vote it is essential that Government take firm action to address cost competitiveness, access to finance and late payments. By taking this action Government will be contributing directly to the viability of small businesses and job creation.”
The Government must focus on competitiveness. The drive must be to reduce state-influenced costs while the private sector increases productivity.
The Association restated its advice to employers to stand firm on wage claims and called for:
A full benchmark and overhaul of all government influenced business costs with a target of a reduction to below the EU average for all within one year.
A full review of labour market inhibitors, including social welfare constraints and black economy.
Introduce new and improve existing activation schemes in conjunction with employers.
The implementation of a further reduction in state assistance for those who refuse job offers.
Increase job-rich infrastructure investment.
Ensure real measurable access to affordable credit for viable SMEs.
Outsource more state sector services to SMEs.
A greater training incentive for small business to compensate for the cost of on-the-job training.
“If both Government and its agencies are clear in their ambition to address the Brexit issue and create jobs, then they must do everything to reduce the cost of doing business. When employment costs rise SMEs are less likely to take on new staff,” concluded Fielding.