The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, ISME, has called on the government to put the focus on competitiveness in the budget.

The Association said October budget needed to reflect on the vital importance of the SME sector and the contribution it can make to the future.

In its pre-budget submission, ISME said it was time to move the focus from austerity to growth for businesses who have survived the recession and are now ready to capitalise on recovery.

"The 2015 Budget must get the balance right between generating savings, primarily through cost savings and productivity gains rather than imposing additional taxes, which will hinder economic performance," Mark Fielding, the chief executive of IMSE said.

"To do this we must contain and reduce the cost of running the country, which will allow us to curtail tax rises, incentivise business and thereby unleash the potential of the SME sector," he added. 

"It is vital, therefore, that this year's Budget dispels the uncertainty and provides a clear outline and direction on how the Government intends to deal with the public finances, business costs, lack of bank credit and unemployment."

The Association also called on the government to reaffirm Ireland's stable and transparent corporation taxation regime and recommit to the 12.5% corporate tax rate for companies trading here.