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ISME calls for business cost reductions
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, welcomed the increase in employment measured by the CSO, Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) for the 3rd quarter, but once again called on Government to focus on business cost reduction. The Association warned that anomalies in social welfare continue to hamper job creation.
Commenting on the QNHS figures, ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding said, “The main task of this Government is to foster an environment in which real employment can be created. Job creation and job retention is being hampered by high business costs, an inept social welfare system and more recently, pronouncements from Labour ministers fuelling uneconomic wage expectations. Government must back and support the job creators; they must reduce government imposed business costs and introduce pro-business policies”.
“While these issues have been well flagged for a considerable period, little has been done to address these obvious employment constraints. We need more flexibility in our labour market to reflect economic conditions and be in line with other indicators of growth. Increased flexibility will give SMEs the confidence to invest and employ.”
The Government must address the concerns of smaller businesses, the main job creators by;
• Focussing on cost competitiveness, with a concerted effort to tackle business costs.
• Tackling the Social Welfare Trap and the surge in the black economy.
• Ensuring flexibility in the labour market through reasonable regulations.
• Carrying out the promised reform of the public sector including a pay freeze until 2017.
• Addressing the lack of bank credit available in the economy.
“While the government cannot create jobs its responsibility is to foster an environment in which jobs can be created. Now is the time to kick-start the indigenous economy with improved flexibility and an initiative that subsidises employers for each additional job created. That action will instil confidence, assist the creation of jobs and stimulate consumer spend, driving the recovery process,” concluded Fielding.