Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Robert Troy, has said the Government are showing complete disregard for the growing issue of competitiveness and cutting the growing costs of doing business in Ireland.

Deputy Troy was questioning Minister Humphreys in Dáil Éireann and said it was very telling that the Minister could not confirm which, if any, of the 121 recommendations published by the National Competitive Council (NCC) had been implemented by her Department.

He explained, “The NCC has just published a Competitiveness Bulletin summarising Ireland’s performance in the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index Report. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, Ireland has fallen one place in the rankings.

“Ireland remains a high cost economy and an expensive place in which to do business under all economic metrics, including property, insurance, transport, energy and business. In respect of the cost of borrowing or lending, we are 65% higher than comparable countries across the EU.

“We risk leaving ourselves exposed if any downturn in the international economy comes about from Brexit and trade wars. The enterprise supports in the budget were very modest and competitor nations still offer a more attractive suite of incentives to entice and spur on entrepreneurism.

“Small firms are the backbone of the economy and supporting them helps create and sustain jobs across all regions throughout the country. It is these businesses that will feel the brunt of any downturn, but it is these businesses that help the economy weather the storm of a downturn.

“The Government must address the cost of insurance, transport, energy and property and reduce the administrative burden for SMEs and micro enterprises”, he concluded.