Government ministers’ interference in private sector wage bargaining must stop.
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, commented on the latest Monthly Employment figures from CSO, with a warning to Government that their ‘leading remarks’ on minimum wage and wage costs in general were resulting in a reticence in SME owners to create new jobs. The jobs recovery is being sacrificed through pre-election promises of increases and the recent cave-in on public sector pay, causing new job creation to stall.
The Monthly Unemployment figures for June confirm that 208,100 people are still signing on the dole, a reduction of 500 in the month. The standardised unemployment rate is at 9.7%, which is no change on the revised May figure.
ISME CEO, Mark Fielding, said, “The creation of wage increase expectations and the ever increasing costs of business are having a stultifying effect on employment growth. Government must understand how fragile the recovery is in the SME sector and that unless it is economically viable to hire more staff, SMEs simply cannot do it”.
“What is urgently required is a clear and targeted policy to include employment maintenance and job creation, moving individuals from the dole queue back into employment. This policy will only succeed as part of overall pro-enterprise policies, specifically aimed at the labour creating SME sector. If the proper platform is in place, including availability of credit and a competitive environment free of excessive bureaucracy, SMEs will create and sustain jobs.”
The Association called on the Government to:
Stop interfering in private sector wage bargaining.
Reduce government influenced business costs to below the EU average.
Ensure real measurable access to credit for viable SMEs.
Reform the social welfare system to make it more profitable to work.
Attack the scourge of ever-increasing black economy activity.
“It is crucial that the Taoiseach and his cabinet cease the interference and begin to deliver on their promises, which will provide SMEs with the impetus and security to create badly needed jobs”, concluded Fielding.