Restoring confidence in public finances ‘top priority’

RESTORING confidence in the public finances should be the Government’s top priority in the short term, but driving innovation is the biggest medium-term concern, a survey of business leaders has revealed.

More than 50% of those questioned for the survey, at yesterday’s National Leadership Forum hosted by the Irish Management Institute (IMI) at its headquarters in Sandyford, Co Dublin, said that reinvigorating the public finances and the country’s financial system were the single most important issues facing the Government right now.

Around 48% also highlighted boosting business innovation as the most important issue in the longer term.

According to IMI chief executive Dr Tom McCarthy, speaking at yesterday’s event: “Our survey has shown that the country’s leaders are naturally very concerned about the public finances, but still see the importance of innovation to boost growth. These findings dovetail with the direction plotted by the Government’s ‘smart economy’ vision.”

In its latest economic bulletin, published yesterday, the Central Bank said that the economy could shrink by as much as 7% this year and 3% next year. Back in January, it initially forecast a 4.7% fall in GDP for this year.

The IMI conference was this year aimed at coming up with solutions to tackle the current economic crisis.

“As leaders of organisations — small or large, public or private — we are all acutely aware of the challenges we face in the current economic situation.

“The intention in coming here was to facilitate the peer consultation which will support companies in facing these challenges,” Dr McCarthy added.

IMI chairman, Dr Phil Nolan added that leadership in these times, is critical.

“The direct correlation between management capability and business success has long been recognised.

“This is where the IMI has a role to play and where all the delegates here have an opportunity to collaborate and help turn our country’s fortunes around,” he added.


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