Irish private sector credit has fallen once again – and access to credit is without a doubt the most serious issue facing all businesses in Ireland. But how many times can we ask, encourage, cajole, beg and plead with government to do something about it?
This is not just ISME saying this. This is the view in a note published today by Alan McQuaid, economist with Merrion Capital:
The credit data continue to remain the most disappointing as regards Ireland’s recovery story. While there has been some improvement in recent months in terms of bank lending, progress continues to be slow. Advancing credit to the SME sector in particular is essential if the economy and labour market is to fully recover.
Very recently when government saw a drop in popularity they were suddenly able to find extra money (from the State’s bare bald coffers) to reverse some of their unpopular policies. But where does this money come from to pay for these extra services? Taxation, of course. And who pays the bulk of the taxes in the State? The SME sector – the sector that employs the majority of the State’s workers. Directly or indirectly SME’s shore up the nation’s government.
In ISME we don’t take sides politically. Our members just want to get on with what they do – running their businesses. Having asked and asked and asked politicians to do something about credit for business – and having seen absolutely nothing happening – maybe we should appeal to the more naked side of their personalities. Maybe if they understood the direct relationship between making bucket loads of credit available to SMEs that industry could recover much more quickly, taxes would rise and then they’d have more money to give away (ISME does not condone the waste of State resources) but at this stage, having tried everything else, maybe it’s the only plea they will hear…?