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Disastrous new rates revaluation will transfers €21m from local authorities to profitable utilities – Tóibín

11 November, 2015

A new business rate re-evaluation process throughout the state has had the effect of reducing the contribution by a string of large profitable utility companies Vodafone, Meteor, 3Ireland, BT Ireland, Eircom and ESB to the tune of €21m.

According to Sinn Féin Enterprise spokesperson Peadar Tóibín TD, this means that Local Authorities throughout the state will have a significant funding gap for next year.

Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said:

“Some of these companies are set to get cuts in their rates to the tune of 50% while at the same time local authorities are struggling with housing and homelessness crises.

“The councils are likely to plug this gap in one of three ways, cutting services provided by the Local Authority, increasing the business rate on small businesses or by increasing the property tax.

“This is the direct opposite to what should be happening. We in Sinn Féin have been calling for a progressive business rate to help small businesses who are struggling to survive.

“We believe that the profitability of the business should be an element of the evaluation for the rate. In the north of Ireland we introduced a new 15% levy on large multiple stores in order to subsidise a rates relief for small businesses. Despite our calls the government has stubbornly refused to reform business rates.

“As a result of this re-evaluation Dublin City Council are set to lose €3.3m, Cork City and County Councils are set to lose over €3m, Limerick County Council will lose €1.3m and Waterford County Council will lose €1.3 million.

“That this would happen at a time when Local Authorities are strapped for cash dealing with the housing and homelessness crisis is shocking.

“Logic dictates that the gap will likely be closed through a combination of rates hike affecting smaller struggling businesses and cuts to services.

“There will also be enormous pressure on councils to jack up the property tax. The government needs to resolve this through the development of a progressive business rate that is revenue neutral and supports indigenous SMEs.” 

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