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Anderson calls for creation of rates relief programme for small business

11 February, 2009


Sinn Féin Equality Spokesperson, Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) has called for the introduction of a rates relief scheme to assist small businesses here.

Ms. Anderson said:

"For small businesses already struggling as a result of the recession, the issue of high commercial rates is proving crippling.

"I have met with a number of local traders who are severely struggling in the current economic climate and the burden of huge commercial rates charges can literally mean the difference between survival and bankruptcy.

"Obviously, there is only so much that any government can do about a global economic crisis but there are positive interventions which could be made - the introduction of a rates relief scheme is one of them.

"Such a scheme would see reduced rates bills for small and medium enterprises providing a much-needed boost for the economy in Derry and elsewhere.

"The Finance Minister, Nigel Dodds has already indicated that he would consider implementing such a scheme and I am now calling on him to bring forward measures as soon as possible.

"When you consider that small indigenous companies make up 98% of business here, it becomes clear that a rates relief scheme is long overdue in the North of Ireland.

"Such programmes are already in place in England, Scotland and Wales while the South offers very low rates of corporation tax.

"All of this is putting our small business sector at an unnecessary competitive disadvantage and I am urging the Minister to redress that situation without delay." CRÍOCH

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