Extra wage costs acting as ‘job killers’ in SME sector.
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, at the release of the latest CSO Monthly Unemployment figures, today (3rd November), warned the Government that the next Action Plan for Jobs must be truly innovative and not merely ‘business as usual’ or a rehash of old policies. The Association called for a full review of the current stimulus measures in order to boost job creation and a prioritised approach to improving competitiveness.
The Monthly Unemployment figures at the end of October confirm that 203,000 people are unemployed, a reduction of 1,900 in the month. The standardised unemployment rate has dropped to 9.3%.
ISME CEO, Mark Fielding, said, “It is evident from today’s figures that job creation has slowed and needs to be reinvigorated. The recent Budget gave absolutely no incentive to create jobs and in fact has had the opposite effect. The imminent minimum wage increase and rising wage pressures have stalled job creation among SMEs”.
“SMEs are struggling to grow due to the ever-increasing costs with which they are faced. They are competing with foreign businesses and online sellers from far more competitive environments. The extra costs being piled on to hard pressed SMEs are acting as ‘job killers’ in the one area where jobs could be created. It does look as if this administration is content with the current unemployment level and sees more votes in increased wages for those lucky enough to have jobs.”
“It is time for this Government to focus on a ‘jobs plan’ that will actually stimulate job creation rather than ‘vote catching’ giveaways, which add cost to the employer at the expense of jobs. Properly focused incentives, will result in a virtuous circle of welfare reduction, revenue increases and jobs”, concluded Fielding.