NI business groups hit out at council rates hike

Three of Northern Irelands leading business groups have expressed disappointment at last night’s decision of Derry-Strabane Council to hike business rates by 3.5%.

Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI had jointly written to all eleven council Chief Executives urging them to strike a rate at around 0% given the pressures their members are under with paying excessively high rate bills.

Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI Chief Executives, Glyn Roberts, Colin Neill and Stephen Kelly said:

 “We are extremely concerned at this excessive increase in Business Rates and the impact it will have on our members”

“It is disappointing that the Council did not listen to our concerns expressed in the letter we sent before Christmas not to hike their rates. Councils should not add to the burden of our members”

“With our members experiencing huge uncertainty with Brexit, rising costs of running their business and slow economic growth, the last thing they need is to pay more business rates”

“The Chancellor in his recent Budget gave independent retailers and hospitality businesses in England a third off their rate bills. Their counterparts in Northern Ireland got nothing”

“We need a rating system that works for business allowing them to invest and create more jobs. In our joint New Deal document we call for a radical reduction in business rates to support our town and city centres and to ensure small business owners can reinvest more of their own money into growing their business and employing more staff”


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