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The revitalisation of town centres requires overhaul of rates system - Kenny

30 September, 2014 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin Roscommon South Leitrim by-election candidate Martin Kenny has called on the Minister for Environment and Local Government Alan Kelly to overhaul of the rates system to ensure the revitalisation of local town centres.

Martin Kenny said that small businesses in towns across Leitrim and Roscommon were under severe pressure and struggling to survive. 

Councillor Kenny said:

“Many towns across Roscommon and South Leitrim are in need of serious town centre revitalisation. The current system of rates dates back centuries and is outdated and ill-suited to a time when small businesses on the main streets of local towns are competing with large multinationals in out-of-town developments and with online businesses. 

“Local businesses are the back bone of our town centres. But they are penalised by an unfair rates system that favour the bigger multi-nationals. To assist in the economic development of local businesses Sinn Féin is calling for the introduction of a progressive rates system. Progressive rates would take into account profit and turnover.

“Currently, local councils are stifled by limited powers and underfunding. The Fine Gael Labour government has done nothing to address this issue. It needs to be radically changed to devolve power and decision making to local authorities.

“I am calling on the Minister for Environment and Local Government Alan Kenny to act now, introduce progressive rates and to stop the death of our local town centres.”

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