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New Business Minister must tackle major challenges in the portfolio – Quinlivan

30 November, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has welcomed the appointment of Heather Humphreys TD as the new Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation and said the new Minister must hit the ground running as her Department has a number of major challenges she must address.

Speaking from Leinster House, Deputy Quinlivan said;

“I welcome the appointment of Heather Humphreys TD as the new Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and would urge the Minister to immediately tackle some of the major challenges her Department is facing.

“When the government reshuffle occurred back in June, I said the Department of Business should not be centred around ribbon cutting and flashy job announcements, but instead on creating jobs right across Ireland and helping SMEs navigate the challenges they face, particularly by Brexit.

“Since that time, it has become clear the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, which falls under her Department, is barely functioning, and is not carrying out its mandate of policing and prosecuting white collar criminals.

“The ODCE has only 35 staff and 5 Gardaí in 2017 to police all white collar criminality in Ireland and in the past two years they have brought no convictions or prosecutions.

“Businesses have repeatedly said the current commercial rates system is crippling some enterprises, and escalating insurance costs are hampering growth. The new Minister must work with her colleagues in Finance and Housing, Planning and Local Government to introduce solutions to these problems.

“The latest InterTradeIreland survey has found 95% of businesses still have no Brexit plan in place, 18 months since the referendum took place. This is simply not good enough.

“Some areas of the country are not benefitting from FDI investment at all, and the government have brought forward no initiatives to tackle the 79 unemployment blackspots across the state.

“Minister Humphreys must tackle these problems immediately, and I look forward to engaging with her to ensure these problems are addressed.” 

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