ISME calls for less waffle and more action to address inflation crisis
ISME, the Independent Business Organisation for small and medium enterprise, has called for immediate Government action to address the unacceptably high level of inflation, which increased to 5%, up from 4.9% in June. The Association warned that unless a concerted plan was put in place to tackle the cost environment our competitiveness will continuously be eroded with the consequent reduction in economic growth and resultant job losses.
According to ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding, “The SME sector is sick and tired of the waffle and excuses put forward by official sources, attempting to explain why Irish Inflation is more than double that of the EU. The lack of any concerted action to address a problem, which is continually getting worse, is an abdication of responsibility of the highest order. Without leadership on this issue, the consequences will be dire, as inflation is one of the major threats to this economy and has already cost jobs and led to company closures.”
“It is obvious that we have entered a period of economic uncertainty and more challenging economic conditions. What is required is less rhetoric and more action to address an out of control cost environment that is constantly undermining our competitiveness”.
Fielding identified the negative influence of the public sector as being of crucial importance and is being reflected in huge increases in public utilities, including local charges, waste, education and health. This has resulted in Services inflation running at 8.7% in comparison to 0.6% for goods. With production costs rising by 10% per annum, it is only a matter of time when these increased costs will result in a further increase in inflation, he warned.
In conclusion Fielding stated, “The time has come for the Government to show leadership and immediately provide a clear commitment to introduce practical policies, including reforming the public sector, to ensure that Irish inflation starts to move downwards towards the EU average, currently 1.8%”.