In a dramatic reversal over a 12-month period, almost two thirds (64 percent) of private and family-owned businesses in Ireland now believe Government has not improved the Irish business environment since assuming power.This is according to a new KPMG survey of 300 owner managers of private and family-owned Irish companies.
This is in stark contrast with last year’s findings where the opposite view was held, with 63 percent of respondents noting that the Government had improved the business environment.
According to Colin O’Brien, Partner, KPMG in Ireland, “Inevitably new Governments find that honeymoon periods come to an end – our survey indicates that business frustrations are surfacing and Government initiatives are not impacting as quickly as anticipated.”
On a positive note, the survey found that 80 percent planned to increase or maintain current levels of employment over the next 12 months – 38 percent of respondents intend to increase their workforce in 2013, with a further 42 percent planning to maintain current levels of employment. These findings are in keeping with last year’s survey results of private Irish businesses, where 40 percent intended to increase their workforce in 2012 and a further 42 percent planned to maintain levels of employment.
Michael Gaffney, Partner, KPMG in Ireland said, “This is good news in a time of continued challenges for the Irish economy, and it is important to recognise these indigenous businesses and their overall contribution to overall employment.”
Not surprisingly, the survey found that 41 percent of private and family-owned businesses felt that existing/legacy debt was the biggest drag on growth for their business, with current economic conditions coming in second at 33 percent. Twenty percent found that access to funding/credit was the biggest drag, four percent found it was the availability of skilled employees and only one percent found it was tax rates.
Despite the focus on BRICS, 48 percent of owner managers of private and family-owned Irish businesses state that the UK is still the biggest trading country for them, with 20 percent stating other eurozone countries, 18 percent stating the US, 12 percent stating other countries, and three percent stating BRICS.