The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) has claimed the Government should look to reduce business costs if it is to give small firms the bandwidth to employ more staff.
The Association is responding to the monthly unemployment figures which indicated a decline in the number of people without work and warned against complacency during a time of uncertainty across the continent.
The CSO figures demonstrated that 172,900 people were unemployed, with the standardised unemployment rate for September at 7.9 per cent.
Neil McDonnell, CEO, ISME, said: “Today’s figures reaffirm that excessive business costs are deterring new employment.
“Insurance costs have increased by 38 per cent over the year, according to the CSO, while a recent report by the IMF shows Irish consumers are paying four times the EU average on insurance premiums.
“These excessive increases are unsustainable for SMEs and are hampering growth. They directly and negatively affect the ability of SMEs to hire new staff.”
Within the latest Budget, the Association called upon the Government to consider the following:
- Reduce government-influenced business costs to below the EU average
- Pinpoint capital investment in job rich infrastructure
- Encourage entrepreneurs through the Irish tax system
- Ensure real measurable access to credit is a viable option for SMEs
- Outsource more state sector services to SMEs
- Reform the social welfare system to make it more profitable to work
- Reduce ‘black economy’ activity
“This Government have stated that their priority is the creation of jobs, but until it addresses the continue rise in business costs, SMEs will find it very difficult to take on new staff,” added McDonnell.