Cost-competitiveness must be prioritised to create jobs.
Social Welfare traps and Black Economy hindering employment.
Long-term jobless still a major concern.
ISME, Monday 26th May 2014
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, in reaction to today’s Quarterly National Household survey (26th May), is concerned at the reduction in the rate of job creation. The Association called on the Government for renewed vigour on the job’s front.
The Quarterly National Household Survey, the official recording of the labour force, confirmed that, while an extra 42,700 jobs were created in the last twelve months, this was a reduction from the 61,000 in the year to December 2013. There are still 258,100 people currently in unemployment. This is the seventh quarter in a row to show a reduction in unemployment. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate currently stands at 12%, however 60.5% of unemployed persons fall into the long-term unemployed bracket.
According to ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding, “There is little point in the Government encouraging job creation if the business environment is brutalised by high costs and hampered by an over-generous welfare system, which rewards inactivity. While these issues have been well flagged for a considerable period, little progress has been made, other than the provision of additional training courses and back to work schemes, which on their own, will not create jobs.”
“The main aim of Government must continue to be job creation and job retention. The administration must address high business costs, the inept social welfare system, the black economy, the lack of credit and bureaucracy, each of which creates a disincentive for SMEs to increase employment”.
The Association called on the Government to:
Focus on cost-competitiveness related to our international competitors.
Overhaul the ‘unfit for purpose’ social welfare system to make it worthwhile for people to work.
Immediately release funds for shovel-ready, job-rich infrastructure projects.
Attack the scourge of ever-increasing black-market activity.
Address the lack of bank credit for productive SMEs.
“Small and medium enterprises will create jobs when the environment is supportive. The Government’s main task is to prime the pump through effective initiatives, eliminating barriers and a curtailment of government influenced cost increases. An emphasis on pro-enterprise policies is a must for the recovery in the economy.” concluded Fielding.