The Small Firms Association have welcomed the fact that the Government has not increased the direct cost of employment to employers, but expressed concern at the elimination of the employer redundancy rebate.
“The small business campaign against proposals from the Department of Social Protection to pass on the cost of the first 4 weeks of sick pay to employers, to increase employer’s PRSI, and to introduce mandatory employee pension provision has been very successful," SFA chairman AJ Noonan said.
"There is no doubt that such measures would have had a detrimental effect on job retention and creation, and they should now be taken entirely off the table for all future Budget discussions.
“The slashing of the employer’s redundancy rebate from 60 to 15% in last year’s budget was one of the most ill-thought out and detrimental measures contained therein. It has meant that businesses, who are trying to turn themselves around or sell as a going concern, rather than close down, can simply no longer afford to do so.
Mr Noonan concluded that “overall, the Budget will have a negative impact on economic growth prospects, as it will take even more money out of the economy. However, the €3.5bn adjustment is necessary to meet our fiscal deficit reduction targets and has been done in a manner that is least detrimental to jobs, which is welcome.”
Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation general secretary Liam Doran said members of their union have reached 'the end of the road'.
"Public servants who are working in the health service are unable to give any more...I think we've reached the end of the road as far as the ability of nurses and midwives and other public servants to give any more to the country's economic recovery."
Meanwhile, the Carers Association welcomed 'the broad strategy adopted in regard to social protection expenditure in this budget'.
However,they say they are 'extremely disappointed with the level of reduction of over 19% per cent in the respite grant paid to over 77,000 family carers, 20,000 of whom receive no other support from the state for providing full-time care for a family member from their own resources."