Research conducted for the Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD) by Behaviour & Attitudes found that over half (54%) of directors surveyed believe the Government does not have sufficient understanding of the current economic situation to resolve it and seven in 10 (70%) claim that not enough is happening to resolve the crisis quickly enough.
And while three in five directors (60%) are convinced the Government does not have the ability to lead Ireland out of the current crisis, not even half of them (45%) are of the opinion a change of government would restore business confidence.
IoD members (67%) believe the Government shoulders greater responsibility for the crisis than the banks at 60%. A quarter, 26%, foist blame on the regulators and just 16% consider property developers responsible for the current economic woes.
Reviewing the results by company type, 95% of directors in professional practice firms attribute responsibility to the banks and 55% to Government. PLCs hold the Government (66%) and banks (68%) equally responsible.
Paradoxically, 57% of directors are pessimistic about the broader business climate for 2010 yet 75% are optimistic about the prospects for their own company.
The current level of optimism has more than doubled compared to similar research conducted in 2008. Two in five (41%) directors are now optimistic about the broader business climate, compared to less than one in five (18%) in 2008.
The freeing up of credit is identified as the most important item to restore business confidence – almost all directors cited freeing up credit to business (96%), stability in financial markets (95%) and maintaining low interest rates (93%).
Some 77% said reducing government spending, while over half (57%) cited the transfer of loans to NAMA, as necessary to restore business confidence.
IoD chief executive, Maura Quinn, said: “What these results show is that directors in Ireland do not have confidence in the political leadership of this country... less than half are of the view that a change of government would make any difference to restoring business confidence.
However, she said business is improving “with challenges shifting from the survival mode of the past”.