Fingal to reduce commercial rates by 10.5%

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pro-business initiative from a pro-business Council a boost for employers

Fine Gael Councillor, Kieran Dennison, has welcomed the committment made on Monday by Fingal County Council to reduce rates by 10%, saying the draft budget is a much needed shot in the arm for local businesses and local jobs.

“The decision to drop rates by 10% is to be commended and shows Fingal County Council as the pro- enterprise Council it is. Special tribute must be paid to the County Manager and the staff in bringing this initiative forward. Fingal traditionally has the lowest rate increases and has avoided borrowing for day to day spending. Had the Government been as responsible, it too might have been in a position to introduce a stimulus plan similar to the one being introduced in Fingal.

“Businesses have been hit hard in recent years making this rate reduction even more significant. Rates are among the few costs which businesses have no control over and due to the fact that businesses cannot re-negotiate rates, many have been forced to put pressure on their suppliers or to shed staff as their revenues have plummeted.

“I had tabled a Motion calling for a 6% reduction in rates, in line with the drop in inflation this year. Maintaining and creating jobs is key to cleaning up the economic mess created by the gross incompetence of this Fianna Fáil Government.

“Councils’ resources are stretched now like never before. The gradual erosion of the Government contribution through the local government fund has meant Council rates have been hiked to make up for the shortfall, with businesses in turn offsetting any increase in rates by reducing labour costs.

“High rates make it nigh on impossible for businesses to compete on a level playing field with their cross border competition. The welcome cut announced this evening will go some way towards reducing the cost base for employers and securing employment locally in Fingal. I hope that other local authorities will now follow the example we have set.”

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