SME rating of Government improves
Small- and medium-sized business is less dissatisfied with the Government in the wake of the Budget, according to a survey conducted for ISME, the Irish Small Medium Enterprises Association.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan included a number of measures which he said were aimed at boosting the sector.
The survey asked about satisfaction with the Government’s performance in the areas of jobs, banking, business costs and dealings with the troika. It produced a combined satisfaction rating of -57, a five-point improvement from -62 in autumn 2012.
The survey was conducted in the week after the budget. Medium-sized businesses were the least negative, at -30, a significant improvement of 28 points, while micro and small businesses, at -59 and -57 respectively, were the most negative.
However, the association said, they showed an improvement of four and five points respectively, mainly it appeared as a result of the budget.
The satisfaction rating in relation to the Government’s jobs initiatives improved from -66 to -57, while the negative satisfaction rating on how the Government is handling the banking crisis remained high, at -74.
Satisfaction in relation to the Government’s dealings with the troika, at -23, was the most positive response and has shown an 11-point improvement over the previous survey. The Government’s handling of business costs was down from -76 to -72.
ISME chief executive Mark Fielding said the slight improvement in the overall satisfaction rating reflected SME reaction to the budget which had, for the first time in years, focused on the SME sector.
“In line with the previous three quarters’ surveys, banking and business costs and the Government’s efforts to sort them out come in for the most negative scores,” he said. “The results indicate a desire for a renewed effort from Government to take the tough decisions to renegotiate the Croke Park agreement and to tackle the self-interest of the bailed-out banks. Then we will see a faster restoration of our competitiveness.”