Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs Dara Calleary has welcomed the long-awaited roll out of the Credit Guarantee Scheme but has warned that it is not the panacea to the credit crisis in the SME sector.

“It is a relief that the Credit Guarantee Scheme has finally gone live and I hope it will go some way to addressing the serious lack of credit available to viable small businesses across the country,” said Deputy Calleary.

“However it will not be the cure that SMEs need to the credit crisis. The Central Bank has found that in the eurozone, only Greece refused more loans to small businesses than Ireland.  This statistic shows the stark reality for SMEs in Ireland – a reality that is blatantly ignored by this Government which seems blissfully unaware that we don’t have a functioning banking system in any sector.

“This scheme was first announced in May 2011. The fact that it has taken more than 16 months to implement the scheme just shows that this government has its head firmly in the sand when it comes to supporting SMEs.

“We will continue to keep maximum pressure on the Jobs Minister Richard Bruton until we see less talk and more action on supporting SMEs,” said Deputy Calleary.