The Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) last week called on the Government to prioritise business cost competitiveness. The Association warns that further increases in business costs will have consequences for jobs.
The ISME made these comments after the recent release of the CSO inflation figures for February which showed a 0.5% change in the annual CPI inflation figure for February 2016. Consumer Prices in February, as measured by the CPI, increased by 0.6% in the month. The most notable changes in the year were increases in Transport (+3.6%), Restaurants & Hotels (+2.1%), Miscellaneous Goods & Services (+2.1%) and Health (+1.7%).
To date the Association called on Government to reduce "exorbitant" insurance, bank interest and legal fees while ensuring that all state-imposed business costs are benchmarked internationally.
Speaking last week, ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said, "Increases in rents, banking fees and rates are undermining business competitiveness. The recent decision by make-up company Coty to move their business out of Ireland because they were less competitive than a UK operation must alarm Government. The loss of 200 jobs because of uncompetitiveness will be a massive blow for the local community."