ISME: 'Black economy' costing €22.5bn per year

ISME: 'Black economy' costing €22.5bn per year
ISME CEO Mark Fielding

ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, has called on the Government to adopt a “tougher approach” to the increase in black economy trading.

The association has warned that “rogue operators” are destroying legitimate business and threatening the livelihoods of business owners and employees throughout the country.

ISME CEO Mark Fielding is worried about the dramatic increase in “black economy” trading.

Mr Fielding said: “While the vast majority of companies are trading legitimately, there has been a marked increase in black economy activities and the development of a strong ‘nixer’ culture during the economic slowdown. This is undermining law abiding and tax compliant enterprises, threatening jobs in the process.

“Estimates put the cost of black economy activities at 14% of GDP, which would equate to €22.5bn this year, or €433m per week, but anecdotally the figure could be much higher. The amount of lost taxes is conservatively estimated at €4.5bn, which could substantially reverse the current exchequer revenue shortfall,” he said.

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