SME satisfaction with Government rises

Business leaders still unhappy with upward only rent reviews and high labour costs

Isme chief executive Mark Fielding said SME dissatisfaction with government was due to upward only rent reviews and extortionate utilities. Photo: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Isme chief executive Mark Fielding said SME dissatisfaction with government was due to upward only rent reviews and extortionate utilities. Photo: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 13:45

Business satisfaction with the government continues to improve, a new survey shows.

Conducted by Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Isme), the Quarterly Government Satisfaction Survey shows that while overall satisfaction with Government continues to be negative at -48, it is up three points since the previous quarter and 14 points since last autumn.

SMEs reported a one point increase in satisfaction in the government’s handling of jobs to -44. Those in the hospitality sector were most satisfied with a rating of -18, while retailers were the least happy with their satisfaction dropping 15 points to -52.

There was a 7 point increase in satisfaction with the Government’s engagement with the Troika to -8. Isme attributes this to the perception that the Government is nearing the end of the bailout programme.

At -70, there was no improvement in satisfaction with the Government’s handling of the banking crisis. Isme said this reflected poor access to credit and debt overhang issues faced by SMEs.

Satisfaction with the Government’s handling of business costs improved slightly from -75 to -69. The services and hospitality sectors were the least satisfied in this area with satisfaction levels of -77 and -81 respectively.

Isme chief executive Mark Fielding said such dissatisfaction was due to “upward only rent reviews, high labour costs and extortionate utilities”.

Mr Fielding said while overall SME satisfaction with Government was improving, it had a long way to go.

“We need a renewed effort by Government to bring business costs into line with our competitors and to get finance flowing to wealth generating sectors.”