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Plea from small firms

THE small firms association, ISME, wants to see the establishment of a new SME Competition Council to tackle business costs.

Figures from the CSO outlined that the inflation rate remained in positive territory for the fourth month.

ISME boss Mark Fielding said that there was a need to identify key costs and report recommendations to the Government.

"Company owners are being constantly faced with more and more State-imposed cost increases," he said. "This was evident in the Budget, which increased transport and employment costs and failed to address the serious issue of local charges. The introduction of an SME Competition Council would, at least, be a step in the right direction to tackle costs to business."