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Upward only rents must be tackled as latest retail chain goes into liquidation – Tóibín

3 April, 2012

Yesterday another retail chain, Peats World of Electronics, went into liquidation with the closure of 11 stores and loss of 75 jobs. This follows the closure at Christmas of La Senza and last week of the GAME chain.

Peadar Tóibin Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said:

“Last week I introduced a Bill that would end the continued use of Upward Only Rents Reviews clauses in existing leases. While there has been a fall of in demand, retailers are still faced with an exorbitant cost base fuelled primarily in many cases by rents fixed at boom time rates.

“Over the last five years 53,000 jobs have been lost in the retail sector, and a further 30,000 are at risk.

“To date the government has refused to explain why it will not legislate to end these types of leases that are crippling retailers and small businesses. This issue is far too important for the government to close down debate by claiming that their constitutional advice is a secret.

“Third party legal advice and Retail Excellence Ireland believe that Upward Only Rent Review Clauses can and should be ended within the current constitutional context. However unfortunately the real economy is being distorted and sacrificed to safeguard NAMA developers.

“We believe the Bill that I introduced last week can end these clauses that are anti-competitive, forcing business closures and costing jobs. What is required is the political will and creativity to tackle the issue.

“I again call on the government to explain its position and to work with tenants and other political parties to pass legislation to end this practice before more jobs are lost.” ENDS

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