Retail NI calls on Northern Ireland councils not to hike rates as high as Belfast
Retail NI is urging the Secretary of State and Northern Ireland councils not to hike their respective rates.
Last week, Belfast City Council voted to increase its district rate for 2023-24 by 7.99%. For the last seven years, rates have remained at under 3% in Belfast.
This rise of almost 8% means retail properties will face a monthly rise of £42.14 and offices £51.44.
Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts described the rate increase as “regrettable” and urged the remaining NI councils not to hike their respective business rates.
“In England small businesses are getting a 75% reduction in their rates to assist with the cost of doing business crisis. Despite the UK Government giving Northern Ireland this funding as part of the Barnett Consequential, our local small businesses are unlikely to get a single penny of reduction in their rates bills with the money going instead into the Stormont black hole,” he said.
“Why should independent retailers and small businesses in Northern Ireland be so unfairly treated in comparison to their English counterparts?”
He added that Retail NI has written to all 11 council CEOs and has also engaged directly with NIO Ministers urging them not to “excessively hike the regional and local business rates”.
“Energy bill increases, labour shortages, business rate hikes, inflation, and falling consumer confidence are all risking the business climate of Northern Ireland,” he added.
“Fears that many will simply go under in the next months without government assistance are keenly felt with this perfect storm of high business costs.”