Business Costs score highest negative figure of -69.
Banking issues continue to be major dissatisfaction at -66.
Jobs rating slips from -21 to -24.
ISME, Monday 7th July 2014.
At the launch today (7th July) of the latest Government Satisfaction Survey, ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, called for a renewed vigour from Government, as all the ‘satisfaction ratings’ had deteriorated. The Association warned the Government that despite recent positive CSO figures at macro level, the SME sector continues to labour under constant business cost increases and a dearth of bank credit, both of which are creating a drag on recovery.
The indicators show how SMEs rate the Government in the second quarter of 2014, with the highest dissatisfaction being shown for the government’s handling of the business costs and a deterioration in the score for banking issues. The overall assessment shows a nine point fall in satisfaction from -32 to -41, which was reflected in the results of the local elections in May.
Commenting on the survey, ISME CEO, Mark Fielding stated, “These current figures are not a surprise as the SME sector has lost patience with an administration which has lost focus, distracted by their own internal political machinations. The sooner the reshuffle, the sooner we can have a Government re-focused on the Economy and the continuing battle for recovery and growth. COMBINED RATING -41 (-32)
The overall satisfaction rating, has continued to fall for the last two quarters. Once again Micro businesses at -49 are the least satisfied, with small business showing a much improved -30. Construction and hospitality are the least satisfied at -74 and -66 respectively.
Retail is showing an improvement down from -54 to -39, while manufacturing, services and distribution have remained almost static. JOBS RATING -24 (-21)
The satisfaction rating on the Government’s Jobs initiatives, while reduced somewhat, is still the most positive indicator. Medium sized enterprises lead in this category at -14, with small business least optimistic at -32. BANKING -66 (-65)
The banking score has increased to -66 from -65. This rating is continuously high dissatisfaction a reflection of the ongoing difficulties SMEs are having in accessing bank finance as reported in the ISME Bank Watch survey of two weeks ago. Micro businesses, as expected were by far the most dissatisfied with 56% of respondents reporting ‘very unsatisfied’. Once more the highest negative score of -75 was in this category from the distribution sector, closely followed by construction at -73. All categories of micro, small and medium businesses score very high dissatisfaction ratings in this category, a clear signal to Government that their efforts are not having the desired effect on the rescued banks. BUSINESS COSTS -69 (-68)
This indicator has slipped by a single point back to -69 and, once more remains the most negative finding in this quarter’s survey, with medium business suffering most and scoring a -74, a dramatic drop from the -48 in Q1. All sectors are consistent in scoring this category as the area of least satisfaction with government. ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT -33
The respondents were asked for their rating for ‘economic management post Troika’. The rating was best reported by small business at -18 and worst by micro firms at -43, while medium sized enterprises scored a -39.
“The restoration of competitiveness through prudent cost control and the access to bank credit for SMEs must be two Government priorities. It is imperative that consumer sentiment is addressed through accurate and creditable communications to help dispel the uncertainty which is curtailing spending”, Fielding concluded.
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