Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Dara Calleary TD has accused Fine Gael of rehashing its policies on business, while its previous strategy “The Voice of Small Business” lies gathering dust on a shelf.  Fine Gael is poised to release another document next week, aimed at winning over the business community, which it has been ignoring for the past four years.

Deputy Calleary commented, “It has taken the forthcoming General Election to spur Fine Gael into taking action to address the extreme imbalances which exist between SMEs and big business interests in this country.  This Government has chosen to priotise Foreign Direct Investment over smaller family run businesses and self-employed people.  FDI is important, but SMEs are the backbone of thousands of communities across the country.

“There are around 350,000 self-employed workers in Ireland, who are constantly battling against the regressive measures brought in by this Government.  Far from being the voice of small business, Fine Gael and Labour have set about slashing supports and making it more difficult for SMEs to remain viable.  Over the past four years the coalition has doubled the rate of employers PRSI, while at the same time abolishing redundancy rebates.

“Ministers Richard Bruton and Ged Nash have utterly failed to protect small and medium businesses.  They’ve buried their heads in the sand on the issue of access to credit, giving banks a free reign.  The Government has given them more power and more money but has failed to get anything in return for small businesses.

“The proposals due to be announced by Fine Gael are extremely cynical and it comes as no great shock that the party is rushing to address the imbalances that it has presided over for the past four years as an election approaches.  However, this Government’s record on following through on election promises leaves a lot to be desired, and it would not be beyond the realms of possibility that this reheated plan will suffer a similar fate to “The Voice of Small Business” document, locked away in a room, never to be seen again”.