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SMEs Disappointed With Goverment

Irish businesses are expressing less satisfaction in the government every quarter, judging by the results of ISME's latest survey of its members. It shows that government satisfaction ratings have fallen across several categories that ISME investigated.

The second-quarter findings for 2014 among SMEs show the highest dissatisfaction for the government's handling of business costs and a deterioration in the score for banking issues.

The overall assessment shows a nine-point fall in satisfaction, from -32 to -41, which was reflected in the results of the local elections in May. ISME's survey results are based on simple balances of the differences between positive and negative responses.

ISME assessed businesses' satisfaction levels across categories such as jobs, banking, business costs and economic management. The overall satisfaction rating has continued to fall for the last two quarters. Micro businesses, at -49, are the least satisfied, however, small business showing a much improved -30. Construction and hospitality are the least satisfied, at -74 and -66 respectively.

Retail is showing an improvement (down from -54 to -39), while manufacturing, services and distribution have remained almost static.

The government's jobs initiatives are improving satisfaction levels slightly but the overall rating is still negative (-24), while continuing dissatisfaction with accessing bank financing has pushed the overall negative finding to -66.

Strong negativity in satisfaction levels were also recorded for the government's efforts in lowering business costs (-69), while economic management post-Troika scored the government a satisfaction rating of -33.

Mark Fielding, ISME's CEO, says that the restoration of competitiveness through prudent cost control and the access to bank credit for SMEs must be two government priorities. He adds: “These current figures are not a surprise, as the SME sector has lost patience with an administration which has lost focus, distracted by their own internal political machinations.

“The sooner the reshuffle, the sooner we can have a government re-focused on the economy and the continuing battle for recovery and growth.” (July 2014)

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