Fianna Fáil TD for Longford Westmeath, Robert Troy, has reiterated his call on the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, to immediately introduce legislation to reduce commercial rates.
Deputy Troy raised this item with An Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore TD, under the order of business in the Dáil last week.
Deputy Troy commented: “The government needs to initiate legislation immediately to ensure that commercial rates are calculated and charged to businesses on a fair and equitable basis.”
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Troy alluded to the fact that small businesses are on their knees and the Government are doing nothing to help them.
“They have reneged on their promise to abolish the practise of upward only rent reviews, we are still awaiting legislation on the patrial loan guarantee scheme and here we are over 12 months later and there has been no movement on reducing commercial rates, it seems this is another broken promise.
“Minister Hogan has also yet to reveal any plans for a review of the Valuation Act that deals with commercial rates. This is something I have been asking the Minister to make a priority since my election to the Dáil and last week again I asked the Minister through a parliamentary question where the Valuation Bill to amend the legislation is, there is an urgent need for the government to forward this legislation.
“By putting this on the long finger, Minister Hogan is showing contempt for the thousands of small business owners in the country. Presently rates are calculated on antiquated and out dated legislation which is not reflective of current economic conditions.
“Businesses are closing every day because of punitive commercial rates. The survival of small businesses should be a priority for this government but they are lying idly by as business after business is forced to shut. Action is needed on this immediately.”