'Lurch to Sinn Féin would be anti-enterprise', says IBEC
Published 17/02/2016 | 02:30
A 'lurch' to Sinn Féin and other parties of the radical left will diminish Ireland's competitiveness and risk foreign direct investment, the head of business body IBEC has said.
Danny McCoy told the Irish Independent that while his members have concerns about the abolition of the Universal Social Charge, they are heavily outweighed by fear that Sinn Féin influence could grow.
"There is a direct correlation with a left-leaning Sinn Féin-type government and the high cost of capital, less public services, more jobs at risk and less investment. So really it's anti-enterprise and anti-business," he said.
Ibec represents the interests of business in Ireland and provides a wide range of direct services to its 7,500 member companies.
Mr McCoy said some of the measures being proposed by left-wing parties were "draconian" and would actually impact negatively on the people they were purporting to represent.
"The taxation policies that Sinn Fein and the left are advocating would make it more difficult [for employers] to reward their staff because of pressures on PRSI and the cost of higher marginal tax rates.
"SMEs would be really disfavoured and that flies in the face of what they purport to be."
The business leader said there were concerns that all parties, including Fine Gael and the Labour Party, were narrowing the tax base with their pre-election promises - but added that "of much immediate concern is the possibly greater influence of parties like Sinn Féin".
"Particularly given global uncertainty we certainly need a very explicit endorsement from government that it supporters business, job creation and investment," Mr McCoy said.
"There's a great sense that there could be political instability after the election. A move towards a radical left would be quiet a dramatic change for Ireland.
"We've seen when the radical left went in in Greece and more concretely in the last couple of weeks in Portugal, it has a significant impact on the cost of borrowing, leading to less opportunity to invest and create new jobs."
He added: "Any signals of a lurch to the left and the rhetoric which Sinn Féin and other parties are introducing to the debate can be very worrying for international capital investors."