Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (105, 106, 107)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

101 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the cost factors most regularly reoccurring in any determination of viability or sustainability in respect of job retention or job creation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34256/12]

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Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

103 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he has studied the issue of cost as affecting employment in the service sectors; if any particular studies have been done with a view to ensuring that the costs here are in accord with those in more competitive or adjoining jurisdictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34258/12]

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Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

104 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he is satisfied regarding the competitiveness of the economy; the issues most commonly raised by employers, consumers or investors in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34259/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 101, 103 and 104 together.

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) monitors business cost and competitiveness issues facing the Irish economy and offers recommendations on policy actions required to enhance Ireland's position in these areas. The NCC's "Costs of Doing Business in Ireland" report, last published in June 2011, benchmarks business costs against a range of Ireland's key competitor countries. The report provides an analysis of costs at sectoral level.

The NCC will shortly publish "Ireland's Competitiveness Scorecard 2012" which analyses Ireland's international competitiveness using 127 individual indicators. These range from measures such as economic growth and quality of life, to the policy inputs that will drive future competitiveness, such as the education system and the delivery of infrastructure.

In its recent reports, the NCC has identified an improvement in Ireland's competitiveness. This improvement is reflected in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012, published in May by the Institute for Management Development (IMD). Of the 59 countries benchmarked by the IMD for 2012, Ireland ranked 20th overall, up from 24th in 2011, and 8th out of the 24 EU countries featured. Ireland was ranked first in a number of areas, including in relation to investment incentives, skilled labour and attitudes towards globalisation.

However, more must be done to ensure that the improvements we have achieved are structural in nature and sustained in the longer-term. We need to tackle the remaining areas where we can best support a competitive environment which will support viable and sustainable jobs. Areas which have been identified as important in this regard include access to finance, business costs, the alignment of skills with enterprise needs, and the reduction in administrative burdens on business.

The Action Plan for Jobs is addressing these, and other, issues which will support Ireland's competitiveness.

Question No. 102 answered with Question No. 100.
Questions Nos. 103 and 104 answered with Question No. 101.
Question No. 105 answered with Question No. 100.