What have political parties pledged for small business?

With election fever well and truly upon us, Kehlan looks at what the political parties have pledged for small businesses, and whether SMEs get enough credit for being the real driver behind Ireland’s recovery. Election time is here again.

What have political parties pledged for small business?

As the parties try to convince on their election promises, small businesses must hope that it will be different this time.

The outgoing Coalition is trying very hard to do what it castigated others for in previous elections — make sure everyone is focusing solely at the recovery in the economy.

No need to look anywhere else.

Just look at all the jobs, jobs, and more jobs.

Every coalition deputy mentions jobs so much that it should be a drinking game.

The opposition isn’t much better.

Fianna Fáil is convinced that the Government stole their answers in a competitive quiz.

Sinn Féin’s leaders have to face some sort of crisis from the past popping out of the cupboard every few months.

Ireland’s economy in the past five years has undoubtedly gotten better.

More jobs in the economy mean more people have more to spend.

A small handful of Irish firms are global operators and Ireland Inc has quickly grown a reputation for a good place to work and to do business.

Now that is something to smile about.

Yet, many have yet to be convinced that the Government played a strong role in making that happen.

And there is more to building a country fit for purpose than helping to create jobs.

Many more people are in employment now than five years ago but many people are paying much more from their pay packets too.

USC, local property tax, the water tax, and high waste management charges, have all cut into people’s disposable spending.

Sky-rocketing rents and high costs for household charges and accessing services don’t help.

The rising tide is not lifting all boats.

In this job, you get a lot of photocalls coming across the desk.

Some minister somewhere is announcing something at some event.

Irish business has taken a huge step forward in the past five years.

It has become more savvy and is the real driver behind Ireland’s recovery.

Economic growth has outstripped that of even our best European neighbours.

There has been no gratitude shown for this achievement.

The result has been no cut in income tax.

Yes, there is a recovery under way, but it’s costing us much more than it should.

All of this is on the back of the mandate that the Government was voted in with in the first place: The need for a radical overhaul of how government works and operates.

Instead, we’ve a society where inequality is on the rise and the same old stories continue to rear their head.

However, that is the problem with Irish politics.

Many small business owners must be finding it difficult to decide on which party to vote for in this general election.

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