Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív has said the Government must take a new approach to commercial vacancies as figures continue to rise in the Western region.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented “It is of great concern to see the rise of commercial vacancies in Connaught, which is the highest regional area, at 16.3%.

“There is an urgent need for the Government to recognise the challenge arising out of high vacancy rates, particularly in the west of Ireland and the need to make it attractive for people to re-establish businesses in these properties.

“One of the major inhibitors of people opening service and retail in the west of Ireland are the high rates compared to turnover and this is an issue that needs to be tackled. The whole rates basis needs to be based much more on the profitability of a business and has to take in seasonal factors into account. There is need for radical reform of rates to ensure that they do not become an inhibitor of development,” concluded Deputy Ó Cuív.