Employers PRSI in need of adjustment to offset wage increases.
Rising business cost still a major cause of concern.
Post-Brexit budget needs to protect retail sector.
ISME, Wednesday 28th September, 2016.
At the release of the CSO Retail Sales figures for August today (28th September), ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, highlights the need to have a progressive budget for the SME sector. The Association has called on the Government to reduce the employers PRSI rate to offset the recent wage increases.
Retail Sales figures for August show a decrease of 4.7% in volume and a decrease of 3.7% in value in the month. Annual figures show an increase of 5.2% in volume and 2.9% in value. When motor sales are excluded sales volume increased 4.1% and sales value was up 1.8% in the year.
Commenting, ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding stated, “The retail industry plays a vital role in our communities, villages and towns throughout Ireland, combined with wholesale it is the largest private sector employer in the country employing more than 275,000 people”.
“Retailers are still struggling and finding it difficult to deal with the excessive increases in business costs; rents, interest rates and insurance increases are crippling businesses and having a major impact on their bottom line.
Budget 2017 is an opportunity for the Government to inject a much needed boost into the retail sector; the Government must fulfill its pledge to cut employer PRSI contributions for low income workers.
The Association called for:
The reduction in employers’ PRSI on lower pay.
Reduction in Commercial rates, development contributions and unrealistic rents.
Increased emphasis on Town centre revitalization.
The end of Social welfare anomalies and inflexibilities.
An increase in bank credit availability for retail SMEs.
The introduction of Sector specific training.
Increased resources to tackle the Shadow Economy.
“The government has a pivotal role to play in the reduction of the costs mentioned. The retail sector has the potential to create thousands of jobs in the next two years. It will only achieve this when the business environment is favourable” concluded Fielding.