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Many Irish SMEs teetering on a debt distress cliff – Tóibín

10 March, 2014

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Deputy Peadar Tóibín has stated that many Irish SMEs are teetering on a debt distress cliff.

Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said:

“Six years into the economic crisis tens of thousands of SMEs are teetering on the edge of a debt distress cliff. Many of these businesses have invested their livelihoods into keeping their businesses alive. Many others have worked for well over a year without taking a wage in order to ensure the survival of the business. These businesses are of systemic importance. If they go down they will bring hundreds of thousands of jobs with them.

“We in Sinn Féin have made a number of calls in the last three years on the government to direct a section of Enterprise Ireland to provide a service for these businesses before they fall off the debt cliff.

“Enterprise Ireland should help these businesses to allow them separate the toxic element of their debt, normally property assets, from the functioning and profitable sections of their businesses. If this does not happen with some urgency otherwise healthy businesses will continue to drown in legacy property debts. Jobs will continue to haemorrhage and the significant break on growth will remain.

“Elements like toxic mortgages need to be written down or parked until such time that businesses can deal with them. Uncertainty over its resolution is damaging to recovery. Dithering is not a policy option. Clarity must be brought to the situation and jobs must be put first before it’s too late.”

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