18/07/2012

Small Business Rates Relief Must Go Further - Durkan

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has said that Finance Minister Sammy Wilson’s review of the Small Business Rates Relief scheme must result in a new, improved rating process for businesses.

Mr Durkan said: "I very much welcome Mr Wilson's announcement that he intends to review the Small Business Rates Relief scheme. While many businesses have benefitted from the current scheme, I firmly believe that they could and should benefit more and that many other businesses that are not eligible for this scheme need concessions too.

"The past few years have been extremely difficult for businesses and many have been forced to close, with the net effect of increased unemployment, ‘ghost’ town centres, and an ever reducing rates base.

"I support Mr Wilson and his desire to review the rating of business premises, but believe that this could be done and actioned a lot sooner than his stated target of 2015.

"Many of our local, indigenous businesses are struggling greatly and I believe that the Minister and Executive must act quickly and decisively to assist them. For some, a review by 2015 will be too little, too late as they will not survive until then."

(CD)

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