Medium sized enterprises most satisfied with government
ISME has published the results of its latest Government Satisfaction Survey, showing that SMEs overall satisfaction with the Government experienced another improvement on the previous quarter. The Association welcomes the fact that this is the second overall improvement this year. Business costs still remain the biggest issue for SMEs, along with Government’s handling of the banking situation. The Association says that if this improvement is to continue, Government must ensure that their financial plan for budget 2018 is conducive to growth and enterprise.
ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell commenting on the results stated:“Today’s results show an improvement on the Governments performance; while marginal, it’s a step in the right direction.”
He added, “Issues around Governments handling of businesses costs continually score the least satisfaction among SMEs. We ask Government to take the heed of this.
“Budget 2018 is an opportunity for Government to address this dissatisfaction among SMEs. If the SME sector is to act as a catalyst for job growth and prosperity, it must be backed by positive Government policies.”
The survey was conducted in the last week of July, with 536 SME respondents, 51% of whom employ less than 10; 36% employ between 11 and 49; and the remaining 13% employ between 50 and 250. Geographically, 34% are from Dublin; 54% are spread across the rest of the country; and 12% have multiple sites.
COMBINED RATING (-9% to -7%)
- The overall satisfaction rating has improved this quarter, but still remains in negative figures, declining from -9% (Q1’17) to -7% (Q2’17). Micro and small sized enterprises are least satisfied with the government at -13% and -10% respectively.
- Medium sized enterprise are most satisfied with government at +19%, a decrease from +21% in Q1’17.
- The retail sector is again most dissatisfied with government at -62%, while the construction sector is most satisfied with government.
- Manufacturing’s perception of government performance improved this quarter from -5% in Q1’17 to +8% in Q2’17. Services is at -7%, an improvement on -17% (Q1’17). Distribution improves from -11% (Q1’17) to -4%.
JOBS RATING (From +25% to +13%)
- There has been a drop in the satisfaction ratings with the Government’s handling of the jobs situation, declining from +25% to +13%. This decline was anticipated given the increase in the monthly unemployment figures captured by the CSO recently. The jobs figure could be bettered, if government influenced costs were reduced.
BANKING (From -33% to -49%)
- The banking score continues to be negative. Until we move away from the unhealthy relationship we have with the three main financial institutions, negative scoring around banking will remain. In our previous bank watch survey, 28% stated they were refused a loan. Furthermore, the interest charged to SMEs is twice the EU average. Until we see progressive changes in these area, negative scoring will remain a factor.
ECONOMY (From +6% to +9%)
- This question examines how satisfied SMEs are with the Government’s handling of the economy; there was a slight improvement up 3% from +6% to +9%.
BUSINESS COSTS (From -55% to -67%)
- Business cost continues to be the biggest issue for SMEs, this quarter experienced a further decline from -55% to -60%. Excessive business costs continue to have a major impact on businesses, this was reflected in our pre-budget submission to the Minister for Finance. The Association is concerned that in light of the Brexit result and continued labour pressures, our competitiveness will erode. We reiterate our call for the Government to conduct an international benchmarking of business costs, and to bring them into line with our main export competitors.