ISME wants end to 'unfair' electricity bills
EMPLOYERS group ISME has accused the Government of facilitating a two-tier electricity pricing structure which penalised small businesses.
This follows the release of the Central Statistics Office's latest inflation figures, which showed that the "housing, water, electricity and fuel prices" category increased by 0.4pc in June, though the CSO attributes much of this to higher rents.
ISME said small businesses in Ireland were disadvantaged compared to bigger companies because large energy users enjoyed big price discounts. It called on the Government to correct this.
The small business group's chief executive Mark Fielding drew attention to findings from government agency Forfas, released last May. "During the first six months of 2012, the cost of electricity for large energy users was 6.2pc below the euro-area average. However, the cost of electricity to Irish SME's was 6.2pc above the euro-area average," said the research body.
ISME also criticised the cost of legal services to small and medium businesses.
Calling the legal profession "monopolistic" it said legal costs in Ireland had risen by more than 12pc since 2006.