Is Fianna Fail a better bet for our small business culture? Image

The curious thing about the personal controversy concerning the Minister of State for Small Business John Perry TD is how little profile he has otherwise had, including on the cause of small business. Indeed, Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin has said that Perry should resign because of his failure in this area alone. Certainly, Perry’s personal business troubles, for which one can only have tremendous sympathy, can’t have helped his focus on his Ministerial role. But the reality is that a complacent Fine Gael has not been particularly supportive of our small business community and, as I wrote last November, it has fallen to Fianna Fail to rise to the defence of our entrepreneurial culture at recent times of crisis or confusion.


For the reality is that we have a political culture in Leinster House which appears singularly uninterested in the small business sector. The left don’t care, Labour have other priorities, and even Fine Gael seems to have been ignoring its core base on this issue. By contrast, FF at least took up the case of the new sick pay laws and the effect they will have on small businesses. FF’s Dara Calleary TD introduced a Private Members Bill, highlighting the threat to SME’s by the proposed sick pay changes, as testified to by a Chambers Ireland survey. He put Social Protection Minister Joan Burton under pressure to explain her proposal. So why didn’t FG TDs do this?