Consumer prices 22.5% above the Euro area average.
At the release of the CSO inflation figures for May today (8th June) ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, highlights its continuing concern at the high cost of doing business. The Association says that Government must do more to reduce the high cost of doing business. Failure to act quickly will lead to further wage demand increases and ultimately job losses.
Prices on average, as measured by the CPI, were 0.2% higher in May compared with 2016. Transport (2.3%), Education (+1.7%), Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-2.6%) and Restaurant &Hotels (+1.9%).
Commenting on today’s figures ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell said“High business costs continue to impact SME profitability and employment. Last week’s report by the National Competitiveness Council showed how pressure on property costs here could have adverse consequences for the entire economy-in terms of cost of living and wage demands”
The Association called on the Government to:
Reduce exorbitant insurance, bank interest, property and legal fees.
Ensure that all state-imposed business costs are benchmarked internationally.
Ensure that SMEs are not hampered by labour, tax or regulatory increases.
Reduce public sector costs.
Outsource more state sector services to SMEs.
“Businesses and consumers in Ireland are significantly overcharged in comparison to their European counterparts; Irish SMEs are paying higher interest rates on business loans, while consumer prices are 22.5% above the EU average. These additional costs of finance and the rise in the cost of living are damaging our competitiveness. Addressing this must be a key priority for the incoming cabinet”