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Report of Review Group on Small Business highlights government failures – Reilly

11 January, 2012

The government is uninterested in creating jobs, and is failing the small business sector, according to Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson in the Seanad, Kathryn Reilly. Speaking in the Seanad today, the Cavan Senator stated that the Report of the Review Group on Small Business highlighted these failures, and that the government was ignoring the recommendations.

Senator Reilly said:

“January will be a tough month for small businesses. As things slow down after Christmas, we will see the recession hit business hard, and we will see the effects of the budget trickle down into the real economy. Small businesses, which employ some 655,000 people, are in serious need of assistance.

“The Report of the Review Group on Small Business outlined the steps the government might take to support the small business sector. The report, must, following the budget, make for rather frustrating reading for its authors.

“It calls on the government to improve access to finance and lending facilities; the government has effectively ruled that out.

“It calls for the government to review upward only rent legislation; the government has effectively ruled that out.

“It calls for local government to reduce its reliance on commercial rates, yet the cuts to local authority funding have effectively made that impossible.

“It highlights the value of lowering VAT, and yet the government increased it by 2%."

“The Review Group is called the voice of small business but it is clear that this voice isd falling on deaf ears?”

Senator Reilly added that the cuts to social welfare, and the lowering of wages was damaging to small business, as it reduced economic activity;

“The government keeps on telling us its priority is jobs. The recent budget belies that. Its main priority, indeed almost to the exclusion of all else, is austerity. Austerity is crippling businesses, as is the government inaction on practically every issue outlined by the review group. The more money we take out of the pockets of the lower paid, the less money they have to spend on goods and services.

“The government needs to invest, and get ordinary citizens spending again. That is the only way to create jobs, and indeed to ensure the long term health of the small business sector.” ENDS

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