A new commercial rates system which incentivises new businesses and has an ‘inability to pay’ clause is essential for towns across Galway East like Tuam, Loughrea, and Ballinasloe.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Michael Kitt, who was speaking on Streets Ahead, his party’s new town centre policy document tackling commercial rates, high rents, parking charges, and derelict buildings.
Dep Kitt said Tuam, Loughrea, and Ballinasloe “are suffering particularly badly” with business closures and job losses, but that the new plan has the ability to revitalise Irish town centres.
“Over the past number of years businesses have moved out of town centres or closed leaving a hole in the heart of Irish towns,” he said. “The burden of commercial rates and high rents combined with heavy parking charges is killing off businesses.”
Streets Ahead proposes a new commercial rates system that incentivises new businesses, has an inability to pay clause, places a rates surcharge on ‘out of town centres’ so businesses are not crippled by an unfair rates system.
According to Dep Kitt, this will ensure new start-ups are encouraged and “struggling retailers and business are given breathing space to survive”.
He added that abolishing ‘upward only rent reviews’ is essential to help tackle exorbitant rents