Manufacturing Northern Ireland Call For 'Common Sense' On District Rates
Manufacturing Northern Ireland have called on District Councils in the Province to follow the lead of the Northern Ireland Executive in limiting increases in business rates to inflation this year, following reports that Belfast City Council are considering an increase of as much as 4.5%.
MNI Chief Executive Bryan Gray said:
“While we appreciate that District Councils may be facing a shortfall in their income from rates this year, we understand that the reduction in income is in a large part due to companies going into liquidation and being unable to pay their rates bills, together with reduced income from empty commercial properties. Every business needs to control costs in the face of falling income in the present economic environment, and this must also apply to District Councils. If councils impose excessive increases in the district rate, this will simply undo the good work done by the NI Executive to support business by keeping increases in the regional rate to 2.7% in line with inflation, and will undoubtedly lead to further business closures and an increased loss of income. We call on local Councils to show some common sense on the issue and follow the lead of the Northern Ireland Executive”.