The government has failed to meet targets set out in its ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ for the 3rd quarter in a row.
An 87% completion rate in the last 3 months follows on from 96% and 94% rates in the 1st and 2nd quarters this year.
Most of the deterioration was due to failing to deliver on legislation.
The coalition says that problem will persist in the next report.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore says the government is deeply concerned at the continuing high rate of unemployment.
While Taoiseach Enda Kenny admits credit access is a problem for many.
“Many small businesses have been hit hard by the decline in the supply of lending. This problem is not unique to Irish SMEs, but is rather a worldwide phenomenon, and it is not insurmountable” he said.
A new Credit Guarantee Scheme to provide €450 million in lending for small business over the next 3 years has been launched.
Initially it will facilitate up to €150 million of additional lending per annum to SMEs in addition to the lending targets set for the pillar banks.
The Scheme will be demand-led with take-up and performance closely monitored.
“The Credit Guarantee Scheme will facilitate lending to viable SMEs that might otherwise be declined” Mr. Kenny commented.
“The work through the Credit Review Office and directly with the Banks, the Scheme is part of the suite of measures the Government is undertaking to improve access to finance for enterprises”.
“The continuing scale of the challenge is obvious. We have stabilised the economy, private sector jobs are growing again, but there is still some distance to go yet” he added.
However the Taoiseach and Tanaiste cannot say when the unemployment rate will improve significantly.