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Investment in infrastructure must be priority for government

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Investment in infrastructure must be priority for government

Investment in infrastructure must be priority for government
August 28
09:00 2017

ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, at the release of the CSO Earnings and Labour costs figures recently, called for greater investment in our public infrastructure and more cost competitiveness. The Association highlighted in its pre-budget submission the need for Government to target infrastructure at 4% of GNI and improve our cost competitiveness.

Average weekly earnings were €722.65 in Q2 2017, a rise of 2.2% from one year earlier according to preliminary estimates of the Earnings and Labour Costs Quarterly release. The differential in weekly pay between the public (€938.25) and private sector (€660.99) now stands at €277.26. This is a difference of 42% per week between public and private sector workers. The gap has increased from 37% in Q1 2017.

ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell said, “Our most recent business trends research shows 36% of SMEs will not increase pay this year. This reality has to sink in with those in the public sector and in Government. We must stop the increasing the inequality between public and private sector workers.”

“Tax payer’s money must be directed to the greater good, not geared toward the select few. The possibility of a ‘hard Brexit’ makes this even more important. Ireland in the Brexit-era must remain attractive and cost-competitive for existing businesses and potential investors.”

The Association called for:

  • Investment in affordable housing and critical infrastructure.
  • Reduce the public-private sector pay gap to 10% by 2025.
  • Improved efficiencies within the public sector to increase value for money.
  • Removal of restrictive rules on out-sourcing in the public sector.

He added, “In our pre-budget submission we said capital expenditure must take precedence over increasing current expenditure. We call on Government to prioritise the National Broadband Plan, to target infrastructure spending at 4% of GNI*, to provide rapid provision of affordable housing, and improve public transport.”

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