12/04/2013

Call For Targeted Rates Reductions For Businesses

Deputy John Lyons has stated that there should be targeted rates reductions for businesses in town centres, and has welcomed Chambers Ireland's support for such a policy.

Deputy Lyons said: "Our town and village centres are under increasing pressure from out-of-town retailers who enjoy competitive advantages in terms of easier access and free parking. In Finglas for example, there are 14 vacant units in the small retail core of the village – as a result of direct competition from two large retail centres on its doorstep.

"In recognition that this is happening across the country, Chambers Ireland today listed 'Targeted Rates Reduction for Businesses in Town Centres' as part of its 10 Point Plan for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

"This plan cites Northern Ireland's Large Retail Levy where there is a temporary 15% increase on rates for very large out-of-town retailers, which funds a rate reduction for smaller town centre retailers. While recommending a more tailored approach here than the Large Retail Levy.

"At present, commercial rates are calculated on the value of a business and so the more your business is worth the more you pay – irrespective of where your business is located. The end result is that town centres – which are recognised Core Retail Areas in planning policy – are being undermined, as economics outpaces planning policy.

"To reverse this trend and to help protect town centre jobs and businesses, we should look to use our rates system to sustain our town and village centres. Enabling Local Authorities to introduce rates regimes that support town centres would also enhance our Local Government in line with the Putting People First reforms."

(CD/H)

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