ISME seeks review council for State costs small firms
THE IRISH Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) has called for the setting up of a body to review state costs on small business.
An SME competition council would, in effect, regulate the expenses associated with state requirements, ISME said.
According to ISME, Irish businesses are being undermined by cost increases across numerous areas such as local charges, energy and transport.
Those costs are "putting untold pressure on companies that have cut their own costs to the bone, forcing many to reduce their employment levels", the organisation said.
ISME chief executive Mark Fielding said a competition council was essential to safeguard the future of many small firms.
"Company owners are being constantly faced with more and more state-imposed cost increases.
"The Budget increased transport and employment costs and failed to address the serious issue of local charges.
"Somebody in authority has to realise that the only way for business to survive and grow is to be competitive-- the biggest obstacle to this at present being the State."
Mr Fielding went on to say that if the council is set up, it should be in a position to report quickly on its findings.
"The group, including business representatives, should be established to identify key business costs and report back with recommendations in a short timeframe.
"The Government should commit to taking action [on the recommendations].
"The introduction of such a council would at least be a step in the right direction to tackle costs to business, by providing them with a proper platform to grow and prosper."