Oireachtas Committee autumn hearings focus on business costs

On 17 October, the SFA was represented by Assistant Director, Linda Barry, at a hearing of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation. This was the first of a series of hearings being held by the Committee to explore the cost of doing business in Ireland.

The SFA highlighted that Ireland is a high cost location for small businesses. The main cost concerns for members are:

  1. Labour costs
  2. Insurance costs
  3. Local Authority rates and charges

The SFA urged the TDs and Senators on the committee to be vigilant about the cost burden on small business in every matter before the Committee. The Bills discussed by the Committee earlier in the year around banded hours and other ideas to reduce employer flexibility cannot be seen as separate to the cost issue, as they would increase labour costs for small firms.

Much of the question and answer session focused on commercial rates, with general consensus between the business representatives and the politicians that the system is not fit for purpose.

The discussion coincided with the announcement by the Valuation Office of Reval 2019, the next phase of the revaluation process, which will affect Cavan, Dublin Fingal, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Tipperary, Wexford and Wicklow. More information is available at www.valoff.ie.

The SFA’s written submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the cost of doing business is available here. The Committee will publish a report outlining proposed policy measures early in the new year.

The SFA’s press release on the day of the Committee hearing is available here.

If you have specific cost concerns that you would like the SFA to include in its representations to government, please contact Linda Barry on 01 6051626 or linda.barry@sfa.ie.  

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