Business Costs still scores high negative figure of -71%.
ISME calls for international benchmarking of all public sector and business costs.
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, has released today (9th October) its Government Satisfaction ratings from its survey of over 1,100 SMEs. While the survey continues to show the dissatisfaction with the government’s performance in the areas of banking, business costs, jobs and dealing with the Troika, the combined satisfaction rating of minus 42, shows a drop from minus 38 in summer ’13.
Commenting on the survey, ISME CEO, Mark Fielding stated “a drop in four out of five indicators shows how SMEs rate the government in the third quarter of 2013, with the highest dissatisfaction being shown for the government’s handling of the banking crisis. A reason for this will be the cavalier attitude shown by the bankers when in front of the recent Oireachtas committee and the utter disdain shown for the economy by the busted and bailed out banks”.
COMBINED RATING -42
The overall satisfaction rating, has dropped to -42 from -38 while micro enterprises at -50 are the least satisfied and the hospitality sector have posted a disastrous -75, presumably in anticipation of the reversion of the VAT rate to 13.5% in the budget.
JOBS RATING -43
The satisfaction rating on the Government’s Jobs initiatives is the only indicator to show any improvement, from -44 to -43, in line with the general ratings. This may be as a result of the Plus One initiative and the recent spate of job announcements, mainly in the FDI multinational area. Here again the hospitality sector scored a very negative satisfaction rating of -87.5, whereas the IT sector scored a -15.
BANKING -76The banking score, having stayed static at -70 for two quarters has deteriorated to -76, the worst negative satisfaction rating since the start of this survey in summer ’12. The inability of the banks to deal with the debt overhang is an issue that the Government, through the central bank, must deal with as a matter of urgency. Added to this is the plight of business borrowers unable to source new or replacement funding, which is giving the negative trend in the figures. Once more the highest negative score of ‘Very Dissatisfied’ was scored in this category at a full 52%. All categories of micro, small and medium businesses score very high dissatisfaction ratings in this category, a clear signal to Government that their efforts are not having the desired effect on the rescued banks.
This measurement continues to be the most positive response from owner managers, however the slippage from -8 to -16 reflects the feelings on austerity and the fears of what lies in store in the budget.
BUSINESS COSTS -71
This indicator has also dropped two points from -69 to -71. The smallest enterprises are suffering the most with a rating of minus 73 from micro businesses, while hospitality and distribution are the sectors most negative about costs. Medium sized enterprises continue to be the least dissatisfied, consistent with previous surveys but still running at a minus 56.
In conclusion, Fielding called on Government to tackle the key issues of bank credit, business costs and jobs and prioritise the restoration of our competitiveness. All costs including public sector and legacy business costs must be benchmarked against our immediate international competitors. We must also expose sheltered sectors to greater competition and ensure greater access to bank credit for SME business”.