The Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) group, who represent more than one thousand retailers nationwide, have today expressed their concern at the increased cost of hiring staff.

The group’s main concern lies with the Government who they believe are holding back the re-growth of the economy due to increased levies on employers.

The group are calling for the reduction of Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) and other employment costs. REI stated that employers have paid well over €1bn in employment costs since the start of the recession in 2008.

Sean Murphy, the Deputy CEO of Retail Excellence, stressed that the Department of Social Protection needs to reasses the crippling effect some of these costs are having on employers.

“While we’re seeing recuperation and recovery, it’s tentative, and it is not as strong as it could have been, if some of these costs had not been put on the domestic economy in particular.”

“We would like the Department of Social Protection in particular to be mindful of these costs, and why they are pushing their job creation schemes, … in the absence of a positive macroeconomic environment that’s supportive of jobs, they will not be successful.”

These concerns come amidst a general diluge of positive news stories on the jobs front and just one day after the Government announced a significant drop in the unemployment rate to 9.8%. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton (Fine Gael) said  that while significant progress has been made in tackling the unemployment problem in Ireland, there was still a lot more challenges and obstacles to overcome.

It still remains to be seen however, whether the concerns expressed by the REI today will emit any response from the coalition Government.

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