The European Commission and the IMF have both published their staff reports on the sixth review of the bailout programme completed in April 2012.
Both reports highlight the significant challenges ahead and the need to ensure the burden of adjustment is shared fairly and equitably.
Some of the challenges outlined for Government in both reports are:
- The lack of lending to the SME sector which made up 99.5% of all Irish enterprises in 2010 and accounted for 67% of all private sector employment in 2010;
- The sustained and structural high level of unemployment which is expected to remain at between 11.5% and 12.5% in 2015;
- The mismatch in skills between those who are unemployed and the FDI that government policy is currently focussed on and the need for a change of focus in Government policy to address this.