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Government should amend legislation to exempt childcare facilities from Commercial Rates - Carthy

21 October, 2014 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North West Matt Carthy has today called on the Government to change the legislation in order for childcare facilities to be exempt from commercial rates.

Mr Carthy said:

“Commercial rates on community and private childcare facilities increase the costs on parents, many of whom are already struggling.  Numerous childcare providers and anxious parents have been in contact with me in relation to their increased concern on this issue and many local authorities have supported Sinn Féin motions calling for the exemption of childcare facilities from commercial rates.

“However, it is disappointing that the Government, by refusing to take action on this matter to date, has effectively ignored the views of local elected representatives, demonstrated by the motions carried in several local authorities.

“The Government must recognise that this issue primarily affects working families across this state – the squeezed middle that Minister's pledged to protect in last week’s budget.

“Many childcare providers simply cannot afford to pay these rates and may struggle to keep their doors open when faced with a bill that, in some cases, may run into thousands of euros.

“They have no choice but to increase their fees which, in turn, is forcing some parents to remove their children from the facility.

“It is laughable that this Government claim to support measures to reduce unemployment yet will not take action to reduce one of the most prohibitive barriers to employment – the cost of childcare.

“I am calling on the Government to amend the legislation in order to allow childcare facilities be exempt from commercial rates in the same way as other educational facilities.”

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