Dublin Street Traders need not become victims of Rip Off Ireland
Councillor Killian Forde, Sinn Fein Finance spokesperson on Dublin City Council confirmed that following discussion with Dublin trader that the party would be rejecting out of hand the proposed exorbitant increases in Casual Trading Fees. The party will be advocating that the matter is referred to a specialist committee made up of councillors with a set of guidelines to ensure that the traders of Dublin do not become yet more victims of Rip Off Ireland.
Expressing concern about the manner and the level of increase Forde said "The new proposed increases are completely excessive out of line with the CPI, arbitrary and inconsistently applied. Aside from the, up to 600% increases, there is a situation where by a one day a week annual licence, such as those in Cardiffsbridge Road in Finglas can cost as much as a six day city centre licence". The City Council needs to ensure that on the hierarchy of business ineterets in the city that the smallest of business are not penalised due to a weakness in lobbying power.
In addition the proposed increases are ignoring a number of recommendations by the Competition Authority report into Casual Trading in 2003. In their report the competition authority advised that local authorities should consult with traders in relation to amending the fees and at the fees set should be based solely of the cost of issuing licences and not to be used to general revenue.
Sinn Fein will be rejecting the increases and referring the matter to the Finance Special Policy Committee with the following guidelines;
- That consultation with traders takes place in regards to the fees.
- That a review of the Fees which are unchanged since 1995 will be cognisant of the fact that the cumulative Consumer Price index over the period 1995-2004 is some 40%.
- That any extraordinary increases are staggered over a four year period, to test elasticity, and are not to exceed the CPI of 40%
- That the new fees must reflect the nature of the commercial activity taking place. That for some people trading was a lifestyle issue that supplement income and for others a full time family business,
- That the Casual Trading Fees will be reviewed annually and any increases pegged at the same level as the increases in the commercial rates.
We are hoping that the other party's on the council can support our common sense approach to the satisfaction of all."ENDS