Plan will be judged on a reduction in business costs and the creation of jobs.
Parts of plan need to be more specific and measurable to garner SME support.
Caution advised on introduction of Local Enterprise Offices.
Welcoming the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2014, published today (Thursday 27th February), ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association said that while the plan was broadly jobs focused, there was a need to begin to be much more specific in many of the action points to include measurable targets and time-lines. The Association was pleased to see that many of their recommendations had been included and will work with the relevant actors to turn the plan into reality.
ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding said; “Today’s announcement of the various actions and their follow through will be crucial in the battle to revitalise the economy and create jobs. The plan will be judged on the reduction in state-influenced business costs, the increase in competitiveness, resulting in jobs being created in the economy.”
“The focus on entrepreneurship is to be welcomed with the Government’s commitment to publish a National Entrepreneurship Policy statement and highlighting and promoting the role of the SME business owner. On a cautionary note, the introduction of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) could have a negative impact on the SME sector if not handled correctly. The micro-enterprise sector is the seed-bed of entrepreneurial activity and requires more than a local office to nourish its potential.”
“Some of the criticisms of the previous plan were in relation to the retail sector and 13 new initiatives have been proposed to address some of these issues, as a result of pressure from ISME.”
The key economic policy imperatives for this Government continue to be:
The re-establishment of competitiveness in the economy.
The re-establishment of a functioning banking system.
The reform of the social welfare system.
The restoration of consumer and business confidence.
The continued improvement in Ireland’s international reputation.
The creation of a sustainable public finance situation.
Supporting the protection and creation of jobs.
“All of the above objectives are inter-dependent and essential to the creation of economic success, with the SME sector playing a central role for the future. Business will create jobs when the environment is right. The Action Plan for Jobs 2014 sets out a general road-map. The task for both Government and industry is to introduce specific, measurable targets which, when achieved will result in high levels of employment and a stable financial and economic environment,” concluded Fielding.