Supporting Donegal Businesses and Jobs in Seanad

Donegal South West Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has this week raised the issue of high commercial rates within  the business sector in Seanad Éireann.

Speaking from Seanad Éireann Ó Domhnaill said: “The issue of commercial rates in the business sector in my constituency is a major difficulty for businesses on a daily basis.”

“The business community in County Donegal and along the border is facing a challenge in making ends meet, holding on to employees and paying large Revenue returns, ESB and heating bills as well as commercial rates.”

“I have brought many businesses in my constituency to meet with Finance Officials in Donegal County Council and officials have advised that while they would like to be able to write off a certain proportion of rates, they cannot do so. “ ;Said Ó Domhnaill

“The members of Donegal County Council have decided to reduce commercial rates by 3.5% for 2011, but we need to introduce reductions of at least 50% over a period of 15 months to two years if businesses are to be able to get through these difficult times by paying what they can afford.”

“When a business closes, the Local Authority, and the exchequer lose out, as do those who lose their jobs. I ask that direction be given to Local Authorities either to reduce the rate demands or work with businesses  to allow them to survive during these difficult times.”

In response to Ó Domhnaill’s request the Minister for the Environment said; “Rates income is a very important contribution to funding the cost of services provided by Local Authorities such as roads, housing, public lighting, development control, parks and open spaces. The levying and collection of rates are matters for each individual Local Authority.”

“Some 29% of Local Authority income is raised locally from commercial rates. A decrease in rates income would be very significant for all Local Authorities.In my view it would not be practical, therefore, to issue a direction to each Local Authority to reduce rates by the suggested 50%. “

“I will continue to impress upon Local Authorities the need to intensify measure to enhance efficiency with  a view to minimising charges for business. It is my intention that as further Local sources of income are realised, Local Authorities will be required to rebalance the impact of commercial rates on the business sector in line with increasing revenues from other sources.”

Ó Domhnaill concluded ;”I am however encouraged that the Minister has indicated that he will re-look at this issue due to the concerns which I have raised on behalf of businesses in my constituency.”

Posted: Jan 18, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized