High services inflation, driven by insurance, banking and legal fees.
Government inaction driving up costs.
Budget 2017 a missed opportunity.
At the release of the CSO inflation figures for September, today (13th October) ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, highlights the need for the Government to reduce the cost of living. The Association highlights the missed opportunity in budget 2017.
There was no change in the annual CPI inflation figure for September, while consumer prices in September, decreased by 0.4% in the month. However, state controlled areas such as health and education are up 1.6% and 3.8% respectively on September 2015. The State continues to increase the cost of living.
Commenting on today’s figures ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell said, “Tuesday’s budget was a missed opportunity by the Government to reduce the cost of living and put real money back into peoples’ pockets. In the absence of reduced costs of living, people expect employers to bridge the gap through pay. This is simply impossible for the majority of SMEs. There is a responsibility on the Government to reduce the cost of living in areas such as public transport, health, childcare and insurance inter alia”.
By reducing the cost of living there would be no need to add pressure on small businesses, such as by increasing the National Minimum Wage by 1.1%.
The Association called on the Government to:
Reduce exorbitant insurance, bank interest 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 while post-Brexit exchange rate difficulties persist.
Reduce public sector costs by addressing increments, perks, pensions and inefficiencies.
Outsource more state sector services to SMEs.
“It is clear from the calls we are receiving from our members that the general upturn in the economy is not being felt across the SME sector. Each week we deal with a significant number of member calls on managing increasing cost pressures, including reductions in headcount. Yesterday’s budget failed to recognise these pressures”, concluded McDonnell.