Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Catherine Ardagh
Dublin South Central

04 February 2016

Fine Gael silent as SMEs are choked for credit – Ardagh

– Exorbitant lending rates and escalating costs crippling small businesses –

– Fine Gael and Labour more interested in glossy PR election promises than helping SMEs –

Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin South Central Cllr Catherine Ardagh has lambasted Fine Gael for failing to tackle escalating business costs and current lending practices by banks to SMEs.

Cllr Ardagh commented: “Increasing costs are hampering potential employment growth. ISME’s latest trends survey revealed that 75% of businesses had experienced insurance cost increases. Recent ECB data also shows Irish SMEs are paying the highest interest rate for credit in the EU 18 at 6.56%. At the same time, half of all SMEs are being refused credit by banks. As a small business owner, I am all too familiar with the pitfalls, but I was fortunate that my local bank was so helpful when I was starting out, sadly that is not the case for everyone.

“If this trend continues, this will stifle small business growth and stall any potential recovery in the regions. The Government has failed miserably to put a seamless and accessible lending facility in place for SMEs.

“Fianna Fáil has consistently set out proposals for the establishment of a fully licenced state enterprise bank similar to the former Industrial Credit Corporation (ICC). We believe in a country where decent hard working people can thrive, not just survive. Our vision centres on building an Ireland that will benefit people in every community not just the select few.

“Our policies will ensure an Ireland built on strong, safe and enterprising communities and end the two tier recovery that is leaving many behind,” added Cllr Ardagh.