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'Be business focused not jobs focused' - government told

Owner-operators should have their costs cut in the budget to create long-term jobs, ISME says.

ISME chief executive Mark Fielding.
ISME chief executive Mark Fielding.
Image: James Horan/Photocall Ireland

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT needs to focus on helping owner-managers rather than creating jobs if it wants a quick economic recovery, one business lobby group has said.

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Assoscation (ISME) wants business costs cut to stimulate jobs growth in the upcoming budget.

Chief executive Mark Fielding said genuine expense-saving initiatives like reversing this year’s PRSI rate increase would help make employment growth – particularly among the long-term jobless – a reality.

Government needs to be business focused rather than jobs focused, as this is slowing the rate of recovery,” he said.

The upcoming Budget is the Government’s chance to introduce effective measures to help SMEs to grow.”

Employers’ PRSI contributions, which are paid into the national social insurance find, were halved to 4.25% for low-paid workers in 2011, but the amount was restored to its 8.5% level at the start of this year.

Less unemployed, but larger share are long-term jobless

Fielding’s comments follow today’s release of the latest Live Register figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The register, which tracks people signed up for government benefits, showed the jobless rate had fallen again last month to 11.1%, although the proportion of long-term unemployed has been rising and they now make up nearly half of all claimants.

Fielding said the budget gave the government the chance to deliver a business-stimulus package that would encourage SMEs to employ more workers.

READ: SMEs call for Budget 2015 to focus on competitiveness

READ: Jobless figures down, though they’re still doling it out

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Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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