With the recent release of the CSO inflation figures for February, today (16th March) ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association calls on the Government to prioritise business cost competitiveness. The Association warns that further increases in business costs will have consequences for jobs. ISME calls on the Government to reduce state-influenced costs.
There was 0.5% change in the annual CPI inflation figure for February 2016. Consumer Prices in February, as measured by the CPI, increased by 0.6% in the month. The most notable changes in the year were increases in Transport (+3.6%), Restaurants & Hotels (+2.1%), Miscellaneous Goods & Services(+2.1%) and Health (+1.7%).
ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said, “Increases in rents, banking fees and rates are undermining business competitiveness.”
“The recent decision by make-up company Coty to move their business out of Ireland because they were less competitive than a UK operation must alarm Government. The loss of 200 jobs because of uncompetitiveness will be a massive blow for the local community.”
To date the Association has called on 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.
Reduce public sector costs.
Outsource more state sector services to SMEs.
“We need a reduction in Government-influenced costs burdening businesses across the country. Failure to do so will see more businesses lay off staff, or recruit them elsewhere” concluded McDonnell.