WELCOMING the government's Action Plan for Jobs 20123, published last Friday, ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, said the initiatives must be better promoted than previous ones to ensure engagement from the SME sector.
The association was pleased to see that their recommendation for straight forward subsidies for new jobs had, at long last, been taken on board.
"This Government will be judged on its success or otherwise in the number of jobs created in the economy," ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding (pictured) said. "This announcement of the various actions and their follow through will be crucial in the battle to revitalise the economy and in the fight against unemployment."
However, he said it is essential that the independent SME voice is heard in the reconfigured National Competitiveness Council as part of this Action Plan. "For too long the true independent SME perspective has been absent from that council, dominated by big business and Semi-state nominees," he said.
He said the key economic policy imperatives for this Government continue to be:
lThe creation of a sustainable public finance situation.
lThe re-establishment of a functioning banking system.
lThe reform the social welfare system.
lThe re-establishment of competitiveness in the economy.
lThe restoration of consumer and business confidence.
lAddressing the personal debt issue.
lSupporting the protection and creation of jobs.
lThe restoration of Ireland's international reputation.
"All of the above objectives are inter-dependent and essential to the creation of an economic model, with the SME sector having parity of esteem with the FDI sector, which will result in high levels of employment and a stable financial and economic environment," concluded Fielding.