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Manufacturing Rates Review must protect North Antrim jobs

29 September, 2007

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that any review by the Assembly of rates on manufacturing must take into account the possible loss of jobs in North Antrim. Mr McKay was speaking after meeting with the management of O'Kanes Poultry in Ballymena, one of North Antrim's biggest employers.

Mr McKay said:

"The Manufacturing Focus Group has kept Industrial Rates high on the agenda and there is currently a review being carried out by the Economic Research Institute into Industrial de-rating.

"Whatever the outcome of that review the Executive and Assembly must take into account the seismic effect Industrial Rates decisions will have on the thousands of jobs that manufacturing provides here in North Antrim, and the knock-on effect this could have on vulnerable sectors such as the Agri-food industry.

"It is vitally important that we get the balance right in regard to the issue of business rating. We need to recognise also that business rating is only one aspect of a much wider problem that requires general reforms, including democratic control of fiscal policy and the development of an all-Ireland taxation and rating system." ENDS

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