Taoiseach responds to RGDATA letter voicing concerns for independent retailers

I know how difficult it is just to keep the doors open," said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

“I assure you I am not dismissive of business owners’ concerns and I am sorry if I came across that way. I know how difficult it is just to keep the doors open,” said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

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24 November 2023

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Independent retailers’ association RGDATA is urging members to continue to get the message across to politicians about the huge challenges facing local shops.

RGDATA’s call to members follows a response from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to a hard-hitting letter from RGDATA which said An Taoiseach’s post-Budget comments displayed how out of touch he was with the challenges and stresses SME independent shop owners are facing on a daily basis.

“I assure you I am not dismissive of business owners’ concerns and I am sorry if I came across that way. I know how difficult it is just to keep the doors open,” Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated.

In its previous no-holds-barred letter, RGDATA had stated: “Regrettably the penny has not dropped in Government Buildings that SMEs just cannot afford the range of increased employment costs that have been sent their direction. And this will cost jobs, employment hours and ultimately destroy the viability of small indigenous employers.”

RGDATA is now set to attend a meeting shortly to outline the cumulative impact of all the government’s new employment measures on independent shops.

RGDATA director general Tara Buckley will attend a special stakeholder workshop organised by the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment to set out the key concerns that independent shop owners have about the huge cost impact that government employment, wages, sick pay and pensions measures  will have on SME employers.

“RGDATA’s survey results are stark – local independent convenience stores and supermarkets who are at the heart of communities throughout the country cannot afford to implement all of these measures in 2024.  SME employers cannot absorb these massive additional costs and they pose a threat to the very existence of many local shops,” RGDATA director general Tara Buckley will tell the meeting.

 

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