Mark Fielding, the not-sexist and not-stupid-I-just-said-something-stupid CEO of ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises trade association, was on The Last Word on Wednesday.
There, he debated with Derek Mullen of the Civil and Public Service Union about public service paycuts. Our Mark was firmly in favour. All of the usual arguments.
On Friday, our Mark was in the Irish Times. “‘Shockingly poor’ retail sales dampen hopes of recovery on high street”, said the headline. Our Mark said:
“The tsunami of negative influences on the retail trade continues, with increases in bank charges and reduction in bank lending, increases in local charges with a reduction in local services, while Government empty announcements mirror the empty shops.”
“It is as if this administration has a death-wish for retail and the 240,000 people depending on the sector for their livelihood”.
Right. Now how much poorer are retail sales going to be if you take out another €300 million from the economy? By the end of this year?
I’ll tell you something, Mark. If the government manage to do so, I’ll be spending far less in your members’ shops…