Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs and Enterprise Dara Calleary has said that the latest government enterprise strategy is just another rehash of existing policy.
Deputy Calleary said: “There are many lofty targets in Enterprise 2025 published on the eve of a general election. Nothing in this document is new and it continues the government’s failure to recognise the two-tiered economy which it has encouraged through its policies.
“It is more about telling stories at election time than actually helping create high-quality jobs which are accessible to all. Today’s glossy launch will do little to reassure the 240 workers in Roche Ireland, with the company informing staff of its intention to exit its site at Clarecastle, County Clare.
“A government of spin ends its term still obsessed with launching documents and claiming credit for the hard work and enterprise. The facts speak for themselves.
“The broad jobless rate was at 396,874 for October – about 18% of the workforce. This includes the official number of unemployed of 203,000 (9.3%); in addition to the 74,274 on public activation schemes and 119,600 part-time workers who would like to have full-time work.
“118,000 citizens remain long-term unemployed, while the brain drain continues unabated. In the 12 months to April 2015, it is estimated that nearly 40,000 third level graduates emigrated from our shores. Since this Government took up office, an estimated 149,000 third level graduates have left Ireland reflecting the outflow and erosion of our qualified graduate base.
“The latest government plan aims to make Ireland the best place to succeed in business in sustaining employment and a higher standard of living. The Taoiseach made similar promises in the last general election. This target has clearly failed with Ireland continuing to plunge on Word Bank rankings for the ease of doing business.
“The indigenous SME sector is the heart of the economy. It has taken the government 4 and half years to recognise the pressing issue of increasing exports by Irish companies. Currently, about 90% of our tradeable exports are made by foreign owned firms. Denmark with a population 1 million greater than Ireland has 29,000 domestic enterprises exporting – Ireland has only 4,200. The government’s legacy has been abysmal here.
“Another major burden for Irish enterprises is regulatory red tape. The latest survey released today by LK Shields shows that 70% of all Irish enterprises with less than 100 employees believe there is too much Red Tape involved in doing business, with compliance costs having increased more than company growth in the past year for 56% of firms. Enterprise 2025 has nothing concrete to reduce the regulatory burden for small businesses.
“The government record in office is one of failing enterprise and Irish business as was shown by the recent loss of the Web Summit to Lisbon. The recent budget did little to promote entrepreneurism with scant attention paid to level the playing field with the UK and increase our global competitiveness.
“What this government has excelled in has been creating a two tier economy, with enterprise policies operating in a parallel universe, where a jobs announcement or a photo opportunity being the primary policy goal over anything else,” concluded Deputy Calleary.