It's More Launches Than Cape Canaveral
Byline: Niamh Lyons Political Correspondent
MINISTERS have been accused of holding 'more launches than Cape Canaveral' after it hosted a seventh Action Plan For Jobs forum in Dublin yesterday.
Richard Bruton and Ruairi Quinn unveiled a new website detailing 'regulation compliance requirements' but faced claims they are not taking enough practical action to help businesses.
Mark Fielding, chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, said: 'I didn't go along to the latest job forum because I think it's a load of malarkey. The feedback I get from our members is that there is no value in attending because it's a talk-shop.' In a reference to Nasa's Florida launchpad, he said: 'This Government have had more launches than Cape Canaveral and the Department of Enterprise has done so much spinning on their jobs initiative they are about to go into orbit.' The latest job forum came as figures revealed that more than half of the credit-starved businesses that applied for a bank loan over the past three months were refused.
Mr Fielding added: 'Business owners who attend say they almost feel they are being lectured when all they really want is to get the point across that the Government should be doing more to protect businesses.' According to the Department of Enterprise, yesterday's forum was held to explain to businesspeople the actions the Government is taking to make it easier for them to start-up, grow and create jobs.
A website that provides information as a single source for all of the State's regulation compliance requirements was also unveiled.
However, even the Jobs Minister was forced to admit that feedback was not entirely positive.
Mr Bruton said: 'People have a natural impatience to see greater progress.
'I think people recognise that employment is the central challenge.
There is a lot more work to be done but people realise a significant amount of progress has been made.' Earlier this month, the Quarterly National Household Survey - the official recording of the labour force - confirmed that there are 309,000 people unemployed, an annual increase of 13,300. …