Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Dara Calleary TD, has reacted to the news that an interim examiner has been appointed to the retailer Homebase.
Deputy Calleary commented: “The news that Homebase has entered into examinership again highlights the very precarious position retailers of all sizes are in. Businesses throughout the country are struggling to survive and the Government has continuously failed to provide the adequate supports needed to help them.
“My thoughts are with the 558 Homebase staff at this difficult and uncertain time and I hope the interests of the workers will be central to the examinership process.
“The retail sector is absolutely critical to our economy. It employs in the region of a quarter of a million people. The difficulties that Homebase as well as other retailers like HMV and B&Q have faced reflects the weak nature of consumer spending in the economy. This is directly related to the regressive budgetary policies being pursued by the Government. Reductions in people’s disposable income through cuts to Child Benefit, Maternity Benefit and the total failure to address the mortgages arrears crisis is having a devastating impact. Upward only rent reviews and commercial rates are two critical areas that are crippling businesses; the Government has ignored calls to deal with these issues and until they do so, many more companies will be forced out of businesses.
“I am also concerned at the fact that many smaller retailers will not be in a position to avail of the examinership process should they find themselves in similar circumstances to Homebase.
“It is also unfortunate that when 400,000 are unemployed in Ireland, the Minister for Jobs can find time to direct a referendum campaign. I am disappointed that the part-time Minister feels he has the time and resources to shift his attention away from such an important Ministry, one which he has so far failed to get a handle of.”