Saturday 24 March 2018

Instability, fringe elements 'will cost Irish jobs'

Business leaders warn of risks from election

Business leaders including Paddy Power chairman Gary McGann have warned of the consequences of an unstable political situation
Business leaders including Paddy Power chairman Gary McGann have warned of the consequences of an unstable political situation
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

An election result that leads to a period of instability or gives a greater sway to fringe elements will cost jobs, the country's top business leaders have warned.

Some of the top executives, from a broad range of national and international companies, have come together today to ask voters to look at the global economic situation before Friday's election.

With polls suggesting the country is heading for a hung Dáil, they warn: "Ireland needs a stable government capable of making the right policy choices for the future."

In a letter to the Irish Independent, 11 senior business people write that the recovery is at a "critical point".

While they don't say what their view of a stable government is, the executives - some former - from firms like Boston Scientific, CRH, Smurfit Kappa and the Dublin Airport Authority caution against handing "greater influence to populist Left political parties and fringe elements that are anti-business and anti-job creation.

"These are parties that choose, for one reason or another, to ignore the link between a successful business community, job creation and a thriving society and economy," they write.

The business leaders outline their belief that Ireland has "the opportunity to massively cut unemployment, reduce tax on work and invest ambitiously in improving public services and vital infrastructure".

They put this down to the "significant sacrifices and adjustments" undertaken since 2008.

"But success cannot be taken for granted. The global economy is weak, the impact of the radical policy initiatives undertaken by the major central banks has yet to show concrete long-lasting benefits, and as a small open economy, Ireland is particularly vulnerable to adverse external shocks.

"This is the backdrop against which the electorate votes later this week."

Outlining their view of an Ireland under left-wing parties, they write that political uncertainty will drive up the cost of borrowing, as has happened in Portugal over recent months.

Portuguese bonds have tumbled on concerns that the socialist minority government won't curb the budget deficit.

"It would also make it more difficult for companies, both domestic and international, to invest, expand, and create the much-needed jobs to sustain our recent economic growth," they argue.

Irish Independent

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