Fianna Fáil Jobs and Enterprise Spokesperson Niall Collins T.D has said that the silence coming from Minister Mitchell O’Connor’s Department on Ireland’s fall, yet again, in the global business rankings shows that she is in denial about meeting the challenges that businesses are facing.

Ireland has been continually sliding on the Word Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings across 190 economies, for the past eight years. In its 2017 report, Ireland has again dropped one place from 17th to 18th.

“One drop might not seem a lot, but when you look at how far we have fallen, we are now behind economies such as Georgia, Latvia, Estonia and Macedonia,” said Collins.

“Ireland was continually ranked in the top 10 during the last period of Fianna Fáil government.”

“While it’s just one set of rankings, it does show that the Taoiseach’s pledge to make Ireland ‘the best small country in the world in which to do business’ in 2011, was nothing more than spin and campaign bluster.”

“What I find quite worrying is the fact that the World Bank published this report on October 25th yet over the past 11 days, there has been complete silence by the Minister, her Department, and the National Competitiveness Council since its publication,” added Collins.

“Yesterday in the Dáil, I questioned Minister Mitchell O’Connor on this matter, and she flatly refused to answer my question on the matter.”

“Minister Mitchell O’Connor either wasn’t aware of the rankings, or worse, doesn’t understand their importance. Either way she is sending the wrong signals to the business sector”.

“Ireland has once again lost more ground in global competitiveness. Several National Competitiveness Council reports have failed to raise alarm bells on government competitiveness policy across several cost metrics.”

“The Minister must address this continuing slide in our global rankings. Staying quiet, and hoping that no one will notice isn’t a sound policy, and Minister Mitchell O’Connor must get her act together, and ensure that Irish job creators aren’t losing out because of our lack of competitiveness,” concluded Collins.