Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher has expressed his concern for the future of many small and medium sized businesses in County Monaghan as commercial rates increases have been sent to many companies.

Senator Gallagher commented, “Due to revaluations of premises I have been contacted by many rate payers who are hugely concerned for the future of their businesses. This is another attack on rural Ireland, businesses that form the heartbeat of their community are under threat from an uncompromising system that does not take their individual circumstances into account.

“There have been significant increases in rates bills over the past number of weeks. In County Monaghan some businesses have seen their rates bill increase by thousands, in some cases as much as 300% higher than the current rate.

“Commercial rates are a key part of funding local authority budgets. However, I believe more fairness and application of individual circumstances needs to be brought to the valuation of businesses.

“In light of the current uncertainty in the Border Region because of Brexit I would urge the authorities to consider a suspension or allow a delay in payment of rates to support businesses in the area.

“I look forward to raising this further in the Seanad on behalf of rates payers in our area,” concluded Senator Gallagher.