Black economy costing €22.5bn

THE black economy could cost the economy €22.5 billion this year and is threatening legitimate business, it has been claimed.

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association (ISME) has called on the Government to take a tougher approach to what it terms the “dramatic increase” in the black economy here.

Chief executive of ISME Mark Fielding said rogue operators were destroying legitimate businesses and threatening the livelihoods of business owners and employees across the country.

“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,” he said.

According to ISME, estimates put the black market at 14% of GDP, which would equate to €22.5 billion this year.

Mr Fielding said the nixer culture as well as the attractiveness of the social welfare system here were contributing to the problem and called on the Government to tackle the problem head on.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Small Firms Association (SFA) Dr Aidan O’Boyle called on the Government to “step up to the plate” and deliver a Government backed loan guarantee scheme to ensure that credit flows again to small business.

“Unless the lending risk to the banks is reduced by the introduction of a loan guarantee scheme, many small businesses will not survive.

“We, small business, are the life blood of this country and it is time this was recognised. Time is running out and we need action,” he said.

Dr O’Boyle also called on the Government to rein in runaway costs.

“Now it is time to resolutely tackle costs by forcing further reductions in electricity and gas prices to bring us in line with at least the EU average.” he said.


The Cosmetify Index reveals the cosmetics companies that are generating the most buzz online – and Dubai-based Huda Kattan has the top spot.Huda Beauty tops the 10 ‘most popular’ beauty brands this year

Read the script of Kya deLongchamps’ kitchen-sink drama to set the scene to make an informed choice when selecting this home essentialTake the plunge: Read this checklist before you splash out on your new kitchen sink

SOMETIMES, the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes, we just want to sit at home eating a bag of jelly beans, while thinking about more jelly beans. Life is only as significant or special as we make it.GameTech: Death Stranding is a divisive, beautiful journey packaged in a cool world

Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll tells Richard Purden about the mad times when five Manc-Irish lads became one of the biggest rock bands in the worldNot looking back in anger: Former Oasis drummer looks back at the mad times of one of the biggest rock bands in the world

More From The Irish Examiner