PRSI rate increase must be reversed to stimulate job growth.
High levels of long-term unemployment a persistent problem.
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, at the release of the latest Live Register figures today (1st October), called on Government to use Budget 2015 to reduce business costs, which will immediately stimulate jobs growth. The Association reminded Government that job growth will only come if owner-managers are given competitive trading conditions in which to develop their businesses.
There are now 374,800 people on the live register, a reduction of 4,700 in the month. Long-term claimant figures continue to increase to over 178,000, which accounts for 48.2% of the total, up from 46.2% a year ago. The seasonally adjusted Live Register figure currently stands at 11.1%.
ISME CEO Mark Fielding commented, “Government needs to be business-focused rather than jobs-focused, as this is slowing the rate of recovery. The upcoming Budget is the Government’s chance to introduce effective measures to help SMEs to grow. Tangible cost-cutting initiatives such as reversing the increase in the lower PRSI rate back to 4.25% will make employment growth a reality, especially in the long-term unemployed numbers.”
The Association called on the Government to use the Budget to:
Renew focus on cost-competitiveness related to our international competitors.
Hold fast on public sector wage increases.
Overhaul the social welfare system to make it worthwhile for people to work.
Increase job-rich infrastructure investment.
Attack the scourge of ever-increasing black-market activity.
Address the lack of bank credit for productive SMEs.
“The upcoming Budget provides the opportunity to introduce a comprehensive business stimulus package that will provide SMEs with the incentives to employ more. As a first step Minister Noonan needs to reduce employers’ PRSI and address other cost issues including rates, rents, energy and transport. Cost reductions aid competitiveness and increase job creation,” concluded Fielding.