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Commercial rates system not fit for purpose – Quinlivan

1 June, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has said that the current commercial rates system is not fit for purpose and that the upcoming government legislation to reform the area must balance the ability of businesses to pay and the need for a sustainable model of funding for our local authorities.

Teachta Quinlivan and Teachta Eoin Ó Broin today hosted a discussion with ratepayers, business representatives, TDs, and Senators on the effect the current rates system is having on SMEs across Ireland.

Speaking after the event, Deputy Quinlivan said;

“Today, we held an excellent and very informative discussion on the current rates system in Ireland, and in particular the effect it is having on SMEs and businesses across Ireland.

“We heard stories of businesses getting rates increases of 200% - 300% overnight, due to the revaluation process. No help or explanation as how to these figures are arrived at are being provided and these rates are proving critical to some family businesses.

“It has been clear for some time now that the current rates system is broken, and this first national revaluation in 150 years couldn’t come at a worse time for some businesses just starting to get back on their feet after the recession. 

“Personally, I know from Limerick the impact high levels of rates can have on businesses of all sizes. These huge rises mean that businesses just recovering from years of hardship cannot take on that extra employee or cannot invest in expanding their business.

“Also, for those SMEs that are exposed to the effects Brexit is already having, particularly with the volatility of sterling, these massive increases in their rates bill are adding to their existing difficulties. 

“Due to the neglect of this issue over the years by various governments, it has now become a huge problem that will take a concerted effort from all sides and political parties to fix.

“New legislation on rates reform is due to be published shortly, and Minister Coveney must ensure that he takes this opportunity to radically reform this archaic punitive system. 

“Sinn Féin will work proactively with the legislation to make sure the new system is fair to local businesses whilst at the same time providing local authorities with a stable source of funding for local services.” 

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