Chambers Ireland calls for Decent Work and Economic Growth
Smaller businesses feel the impacts of increases in costs and changes to regulation far more than larger companies. These small and micro businesses account for more than 99% of the Irish economy, they are the heart of our domestic economy, employing more people than any other sector.
The new Government must improve the environment for Irish business, through measures that support competitiveness and ensure that the “Think Small First” principle must become embedded in Irish policy making. Ireland’s taxation system should recognise innovators, investors and entrepreneurs as key contributors to growth, taxing them fairly.
SMEs who trade across borders need additional supports to ensure that they are appropriately diversified to prepare for Brexit, and so that they can capitalise on the trading opportunities offered by the European Union.
While for many people employment is a positive element in their lives, providing purpose and financial independence, for others, the workplace is inaccessible for a variety of reasons. Whether through the inadequate supports for those with disabilities or the fact that 98% of those with caring responsibilities are women. Investment by the State in affordable, quality childcare needs to be sustained and increased over the coming years. This must be partnered with a strategy for flexible workplaces which supports working families.
Additional funding for education, from primary to tertiary, is essential to our economic competitiveness. Any new Government must work closely with industry and employers to ensure that the correct investments are being made throughout the education system so that life-long learning is prioritised, skills gaps are addressed, and increased labour force participation is supported.
It should be as administratively easy as possible for businesses to access skills and training provision for their employees. Additionally, employers must be able to address skills gaps with the employment of migrant workers through a system that is robust and can process these requests as efficiently as possible.