Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Dara Calleary TD has lambasted the Government for failing to tackle escalating business costs and current lending practices by banks to SMEs.
Deputy Calleary commented, “This Government has sat back for 5 years and ignoring the regions and concentrating all its job creation efforts on the Greater Dublin Area. Now, in the weeks leading up to the General Election, Fine Gael and Labour have woken up to the fact that the recovery is not being felt outside the commuter counties, and have begun to roll out large set piece PR events. Last year, the Government spent almost €250,000 on promotional activities for the Action Plan for Jobs, at a time when business costs are escalating.
“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.
“If this trend continues, this will stifle small business growth and stall any potential recovery in the regions. The Government have 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 Irish communities behind”.