Government initiatives not enough to reduce concerns.
Uncertainty over costs, taxes and union demands hindering job creation.
ISME, Thursday 5th June, 2014.
At the release of the latest Live Register figures today (5th June), ISME, Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, criticised Government for its lack of effort on cost curtailment and lack of real effort in stimulating employment growth. The Association stated that the absence of Government vision was adding to the economic uncertainty, causing a slow-down in job creation.
The seasonally adjusted Live Register figure currently stands at 11.8%. There are now 391,800 people signing on the dole, a reduction of 1,600 in the month. Long-term claimants account for 47.2% of the total. There are a further 85,441 citizens availing of activation programmes, bringing the total on job related assistance to 477,241.
Mark Fielding, ISME CEO, commented, “The figures are disappointing. SME owner-managers continue to be troubled by economic uncertainty and a lack of confidence in the stability of the marketplace. There is a continuous creep in business costs which are, in many cases, completely out of line with our competitors and unsustainable. The concerns over further cost and taxation increases together with the premature, self-serving union wage demands are creating a reluctance to expand SME workforces”. “The rhetoric and lip-service paid to the SME sector from government politicians during the recent elections must now be backed up by real action. We need a concerted effort to reduce the overall cost of doing business in Ireland. Consumer confidence will be restored through increased jobs; jobs will be created when costs are addressed. The issue and the solution are clear, hard government decisions and action is lacking.”
The Association called on the Government to:
Focus on cost-competitiveness related to our international competitors.
A total overhaul of the social welfare system to make it worthwhile for people to work.
Increase job-rich infrastructure investment.
Attack the scourge of ever-increasing black-market activity.
Address the lack of bank credit for productive SMEs.