Responding to the Central Bank’s SME Market Report findings Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín TD called on government to change tack on its response to the challenges facing SMEs, particularly in the construction sector.
The Sinn Féin Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Spokesperson said:
“Today’s Central Bank SME Market Report starkly sets out the challenges facing the sector and the inadequacy to date of government’s response to addressing SME lending and debt.
“Gross new lending remains static and is being borrowed primarily for working capital and restructuring purposes.
“One in four SMEs is experiencing loan default, the total loan balance default even higher at 41 per cent.
“Construction remains one of the sectors most exposed to loan default which again illustrates the stupidity of government’s demand led response to the current housing crisis.
“Government has slashed capital expenditure, one of the worst fiscal decisions any government can take during a recessionary period.
“For years now successive governments have refused to invest in social housing and even now commitments fall far short of what is required. Vulnerable families are being priced out of rental accommodation and working families cannot afford the rapidly increasing cost of owning a home in Dublin.
“The real economy is being starved of credit, the suppliers of housing are in large part in debt distress and the emerging bubble in housing is being fed by demand side government policies. Did Fine Gael and Labour not learn any lessons from the crash?”