One in three Irish business owners unsure which political party best represents them

Infrastructure, employee taxes and Brexit are the big concerns in the Irish business community

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Chris Bacon / PA

One third of Irish business owners are unsure which political party best represents them, and a potential Brexit is becoming an increasing worry for Ireland’s business community.

BDO’s Optimism Index survey, conducted by Behaviours and Attitudes, looked to gauge sentiment within the business community in the run up to the General Election, and found that Infrastructural improvement and employee related taxes are the main concerns for Irish business owners.

Almost one in three (31%) businesses say they’re undecided on which party would best represent their interests, with another 14% saying they don’t feel any party represents their needs.

Of those business owners who do have a party preference, the vast majority went for Fine Gael (30%), while Fianna Fáil came in second with 7%, and Labour and Sinn Féin lagged some way behind on 2% each.

The potential of a Brexit is becoming an increasingly important issue for Irish businesses. Some 50% of business owners surveyed said, citing it as an issue of concern – up from 35% six months ago.

Some 78% of respondents said they believe infrastructural improvements were seen as a requirement for the next Government.

Four out of five (80%) business owners say they want the next government to make changes to employee related taxes.

Problems with securing credit and funding from financial institutions is an issue for a little over half of all businesses – with 56% saying they want to see the new government address the issue.