Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Peadar Tóibín TD, has today outlined the party’s 10 proposals to boost the Small and Medium Enterprises sector.
Speaking after the launch of Sinn Féin’s policy document ‘Putting SME’s First’, Deputy Tóibín said:
“The greatest potential for jobs growth in this State is within the Small and Medium Enterprises sector (SME’s). Almost 70% of people employed in Ireland are employed in this sector.
“The focus of successive Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil governments, however, has always been on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – something the current Government revisited again in its latest ‘Jobs action plan’.
“An overemphasis on FDI has left the SME sector struggling. They are the life-blood of the Irish economy, and cannot be neglected.
“SMEs made huge sacrifices throughout the recession. Some 128,000 jobs were lost in the sector between 2008 and 2012.
“Those who survived are now clinging on, hoping the ‘recovery’ will lift them. There has been little debt write-off, few legislative changes to assist them and a clear lack of focus from Government when it comes to SMEs.
“Sinn Féin believes that there are 10 steps that can be taken to effectively assist SMEs to develop and create jobs now.
“Our proposals, which we outline in detail, are to increase consumer demand; abolish upward only rents; tackle utility costs and rates; revive ‘Brand Ireland’; open up procurement; end unnecessary license delays; resolve SME distress and priorities access to credit; increase labour intensive infrastructure investment and to tackle the costs of doing business on the border.
“For Sinn Féin, SMEs are the priority when it comes to fostering indigenous industry and ensuring job creation.
“We strongly urge this government to consider our proposals as a matter of urgency for the SME sector.”
Note: PDF version of document is available to download from top of this page or can be viewed online here