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 Irish Black Economy Worth $27b
World Economy

Irish Black Economy Worth $27b

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association Thursday called for an awareness campaign showing how rogue traders destroy legitimate business and how non-payment of taxes is affecting the provision of public services.

Additionally, they have called for higher penalties plus the naming and shaming of black marketeers as well as a review of the social welfare system to ensure it is always pays to work.

They estimate that the value of the growing black economy is €25 billion ($27.3 billion), or an estimated 14% of the nation’s GDP. They also believe that the ‘cash-only’ economy is costing the state an estimated €5 billion in taxes foregone,NewsNow reported.

The organization has called for a coordinated and collaborative approach by state agencies charged with investigating and eliminating black economy activity. It also wants to see stronger penalties imposed on those caught operating in the black economy and says a full-scale review of the social welfare system should be carried out to ensure it always pays to work.

ISME has also urged the government to introduce an awareness campaign to demonstrate the impact on state revenues and the provision of public services.

“As a nation we need a sea change in relation to tolerance of black market activities. Turning a blind eye to illegitimate trade is still part of our culture and must change to protect jobs and businesses. A national campaign to inform people of the cost of illicit trade is a priority. The campaign on insurance fraud was reasonably successful and a similar drive against the black market is called for,” said ISME chief executive Mark Fielding.

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