Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, has responded to the latest ESRI Report where it looks at the rate of lending to SMEs.
The ESRI’s Quarterly Economic Commentary has highlighted the lack of available credit for SMEs, which Deputy O’Dea said is contributing to the frustratingly slow recovery in the economy.
He said: “The latest ESRI report on the economy has confirmed what Fianna Fáil has been consistently saying over the last number of years that banks are still not lending enough credit for SMEs in particular.
“Initiatives like the Credit Guarantee Bill and Microenterprise Loan Fund, although welcome, have failed provide the level of credit to SME companies trying to survive and grow in difficult circumstances.
“Overall lending to SMEs actually fell, year-on-year, by 2.8% in 2012 which is a worrying sign. We need to protect SMEs and encourage them to develop and grow through adequate resources and finance. There is huge potential for growth for thousands of SMEs across the country.
“The Government needs to do more to ensure that SMEs, which account for 70% of the working population, are supported. The current strategy – standing off and trusting the banks to do what they are supposed to do, isn’t working. Government needs to be much more hands-on in their work with the banks and demand better.”