• Escalating costs, a clear and present danger to Irish competitiveness
  • Ireland drops to 16th in international competitiveness ranking
  • Latest NCC report a damning indictment on government’s competitiveness policy across several cost metrics

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Dara Calleary has accused the government of remaining silent as costs increase for doing business in Ireland, which is affecting our competitiveness and our ability to attract more business start-ups, both domestic and foreign.

IMD – the Swiss business school published this week its annual world competitiveness rankings. This examines many aspects of each country as a place to conduct business.  In the latest ranking, Ireland dropped to 16th for 2015.

Commentating Deputy Calleary said: “We still have a long way to go to retain pre crisis competitiveness ranking.  In 2008, Ireland was 12th in the IMD World Competitiveness Centre’s ranking.  The government must closely examine the current competitiveness challenges highlighted by IMD, including maintaining a focus on cost competitiveness, public sector reform, strengthening investment in infrastructure and competition for foreign direct investment.

“The recent National Competitiveness Council (NCC) report ‘Costs of Doing Business in Ireland 2015’ is empathetic on Ireland’s position as a high cost location.  This should set the alarm bells ringing for the government on our escalating cost base across the board in labour, property, energy and business services.

“The NCC report outlines that Ireland is the 3rd most expensive location in the euro area for consumer goods and services. Shockingly, new business interest rates for non-financial corporations are higher in Ireland (up to 81%) than in the Euro area.

“Meanwhile, Ireland is one of the most expensive countries for electricity ranking as the 5th and 7th most expensive location in the euro area for SMEs and large electricity users respectively.  In addition, prices for a range of business services such as transport, postal and courier, and computer consultancy services, have been increasing in Ireland.  Worryingly, the NCC outlines that business service prices are 6.5% above 2010 levels.

“This government are very quick to promote jobs announcements under the much heralded Action Plan for Jobs.  While any new job creation is of course welcome, this recovery is unequal as evidenced recently by the Department of Finance and concentrated in the greater Dublin area.  If all regions of Ireland are to see an upswing, these latest competitiveness warnings are a clear and present danger to any long term recovery for all communities, not just a concentrated few.  The government must act now to address this clear and present threat to future jobs growth domestically and to maintain foreign direct investment levels.”