Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, and the Small Firms Association have published their Budget 2016 submissions, which set out key ways the government can support the emerging retail recovery in the coming year.
Both organisations are in agreement that the Government must make it more attractive for businesses to take on new staff. Retail Ireland believes the government should reinstate the reduced employer PRSI rate of 4.25%, which was previously introduced under Budget 2011, before being reversed in Budget 2014.
Both organisations also believe the proposed 6% increase on minimum wage by the Low Pay Comission is premature, and that any rise will only serve to heap additional pressure on retailers and small businesses that have only just managed to put costs on a sustainable footing.
Elsewhere, Retail Ireland also published its Q2 Retail Ireland Monitor report which details current trends in the sector.
Specialsed food & drink stores (grocers, butchers, fish mongers, off-licencs, etc) performed well in Q2, with total values climbing by 0.8% versus Q2 2014, while volume rose 2.6% in the same period.
A mixed performance was recorded by service stations during Q2, with total values falling by 4.1% versus Q2 2014, while volumes rose 2.1% when compared with the same three months of 2014.
Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: "Retail sales rose 2.3% in the year to the end of June 2015 and are 2.8% ahead of the same period last year, however, they still remain 14% behind pre-crash levels. A full recovery is a long way off. Future success is contingent on Government making the right budgetary and policy decisions now.
"Retail is labour intensive and has the ability to create thousands of quality jobs over the coming years. But getting the business environment right is vital."
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Niall Swan