Friday 24 March 2017

Just two civil servants left to tackle red-tape scourge

Roisin Burke

JUST two civil servants are charged with tackling the €600m red-tape scourge around small business at Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe's department full-time.

"Nothing is happening," the small firms group's chief executive Mark Fielding contends.

"They're just not investing enough to actually push it forward, rather than to just form a committee or do a report."

On Thursday last, Mr O'Keeffe promised work was under way on the loan guarantee scheme to aid small businesses, but Mr Fielding is scathing about the reality behind the rhetoric.

"It's a total non-announcement," Mr Fielding said, adding "he seems to specialise in that. He was speaking at an Ibec/SFA knees-up and he had to say something, but if that's the best he can come up with, it's not good. It's a lot of waffle and rubbish, it's exactly the same thing for the past two years."

Mr Fielding said other recent initiatives were not being backed up by action. Of the €1.4m management training fund for small firms launched this month he claims "nothing is happening on it".

He branded Mr O'Keeffe's and Social Protection Minister Eamon O Cuiv's plan to wean part-time workers off the dole and back to work as "up-in-the-air crap."

A Department of Enterprise spokesman said that the Higher Level Group on Business Regulation, the group set up to address red tape, has successfully resolved 38 business issues. It said two people work full-time on business administration issues backed up by further part-time support.

Sunday Independent

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