The Sinn Féin spokesperson on jobs, enterprise and innovation, Senator David Cullinane has said the Minister for Small Business, John Perry has a clear conflict of interest as he is indebted and dependent on banks to support his personal business interests.
Senator Cullinane was speaking today, after a report released by the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (ISME) showed that there has been a reduction of 13% on approvals from banks for loans to small and medium sized businesses.
The survey also found that banks only approved 57% of loan applications and there was a reduction in the number of applications for loans made by businesses.
Senator Cullinane said:
“The reduction in lending will not be a surprise to those of us who work with small enterprises. It should be remembered that this sector drives the economy and sustains 78% of employment. Yet the banks continue to increase costs and refuse credit to our small businesses. The actions of the banks are undermining business and growth.
“It is clear that the banks are setting the agenda and the government is failing to get value from the huge investment in the banking sector. The government needs to act in the interest of our people, our SMEs and our economy.
“We need a ministerial team in Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation that will hold banks to account. Instead we have a Minister for Small Business, John Perry, who is indebted and dependent on banks to support his personal business interests. It is clear that there is a conflict of interest and the Taoiseach must address it.”