Newly released figures have shown that more than 60,000 people were made redundant in Ireland last year.

“In excess of 60,000 redundancies were notified to the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment and an average of 1,075 jobs were lost in this country every week in 2010,” said Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), Avine McNally.

The service industry continues to be the hardest hit with 21, 287 job losses in 2010.

"While Budget 2011 provided some certainty to the economy it did not go far enough and provide the confidence that is desperately needed by consumers and the business community.

"Only when businesses feel more confidence will we start to see businesses invest, grow and create employment.” Mc Nally said.

"There is a clear need for the Government to now prioritize the restoration of cost competitiveness to the small business sector, which is the only way to stop further job losses,” McNally added.