World Economy

High Costs Hurting Irish Businesses

High Costs Hurting Irish BusinessesHigh Costs Hurting Irish Businesses

In a press release issued Friday, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) claimed that high business costs are making it increasingly difficult for small businesses to compete on the export market. They have called on the government to ensure that all state imposed business costs are benchmarked internationally.

They made the statement after the latest CSO Inflation Figures were released Friday. The ISME claim that the continuing low levels of inflation totally negated the need for any wage increases and called on employers to resist giving in to the unreasonable and uneconomic wage demands championed by unions and re-election focused government ministers, Business World reported.

The association also warned of increased business costs which were reducing the positive effects of exchange fluctuations.

ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding said, “The negligible rates of inflation prove that there is no justification for wage increases at this time. The current economic recovery is fragile at best and we cannot afford to ruin our chances of growth by paying ourselves too much and losing our competitive edge. Costs for workers are not rising overall and so it is important that employers continue to hold the line on wage demands to ensure that their businesses remain viable.

High business costs in this country make it increasingly difficult for small businesses to compete on the export market. If Government is serious about assisting SMEs to grow they need to conduct a full review of business costs and begin the process of bringing them into line with our export competitors. Ireland is a small and open economy which cannot be expected to prosper if it cannot offer competitive prices to our trading partners.”

The Director of the Small Firms Association, Patricia Callan also claimed there was no justification for broad pay increases. Callan said, “With the Irish economy now experiencing deflation, there can be no justification for an increase in the national minimum wage or for broad-sweeping pay claims.  However, small companies will continue to reward employees who demonstrate productivity improvements at individual firm level.”