The monthly Live Register figures released by the CSO today (2ndMarch) were welcomed by ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association. The Association reiterates its view that more could be done to reduce the number of long term claimants via reducing the cost of business.
Acknowledging the reduction of 44,356 on the Live Register in the year to February, ISME highlights its concern at the 117,048 of long term claimants, which now stands at 42%.
ISME, CEO, Neil McDonnell said “Excessive business overheads are impacting businesses. While the cost of labour is the largest business cost, other expenditure such as rents, insurance, finance, rates and transport continue to rise, which are not justified”.
Bank interest is twice the euro-area average.
We pay the second highest minimum wage in Europe.
Businesses have experienced insurance increases ranging from 30%.
Legal costs are excessive in Ireland and are uncontrolled
The Association called on Government to:
Reduce government influenced business costs to below the EU average.
Target capital investment in job rich infrastructure.
Outsource more state sector services to SMEs and introduce social and macro-economic considerations to public procurement
Reform the social welfare system to make it more profitable to work, and avoid poverty traps.
“Government must grasp the linkage between business costs and jobs. Excessive business costs hamper potential employment”