Commercial Rates Must be Reformed by Government
Posted October 13th, 2011 in Economy, Finance, News, Public Expenditure & Reform
Wicklow TD meets with Irish Employers for Affordable Rates and calls on Government to reform commercial rates in the context of local government reform and the forthcoming budget.
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris is urging his Government colleagues to reform the commercial rate system to help business, promote enterprise and inject fairness into this payment.
Deputy Harris this week met with the Irish Employers for Affordable Rates, a group which is campaigning for a reform of the present local authority commercial rates system.
Speaking on the issue, Deputy Harris said, “Business owners I have met throughout County Wicklow and indeed throughout the country do not have an issue with paying rates but what they are rightly frustrated with is the lack of flexibility and fairness in the current system.”
“All employers want is fair play. The current system of commercial rates has resulted in many businesses struggling to survive and there is no doubt it is now affecting job creation in our towns and villages,” stated Deputy Harris.
“I have already raised this issue with the Minister for Environment and Local Government and I know he is intent on looking to see what can be done to assist businesses and reform the system. One very constructive step which could be taken would be the introduction of an appeals mechanism which would allow an employer appeal a rates valuation on the basis of a change in economic circumstances. This would enable an employer to continue in business and would also ensure that the local authority receive some amount of rates. If a business cannot survive the local authority loses revenue anyway,” continued Deputy Harris.
“It is not sustainable for businesses to continue to pick up the tab for local government and this needs to be looked at in the context of real local government reform. As a society we need to encourage enterprise and support local businesses. The Government must address this issue and I will pursue it vigorously within Fine Gael and in the Dáil,” concluded Deputy Harris.