Reacting to the closure of Homebase in Castlebar last weekend and the loss of 30 jobs in Castlebar, Sinn Féin councillor Thérèse Ruane, said that austerity is undermining the domestic economy and making the crisis in the retail sector worse by the day.
Cllr Ruane said: “It is very worrying that yet another business in Castlebar closed its doors with the loss of 30 jobs to the town at the weekend. A significant factor in the closure of the Homebase Store in Castlebar was the policy of upward only rent review, which is restricting businesses from reducing their costs to stay open and sustain themselves. This policy must be changed to ensure that shops and businesses can reduce costs, continue trading, and provide sustainable employment into the future.”
Cllr Ruane added: “Shops and businesses are closing down in Castlebar and towns across Mayo at an alarming rate. The lack of footfall and disposable income has reached unsustainable levels and the crisis in the retail sector in general has been worsened by government inaction on upward-only rents, high commercial rates, and of course, lack of credit to the business people trying to stay afloat during this crisis.
“The greatest threat to jobs, however, is government policy. Austerity is undermining the domestic economy, causing hardship, costing jobs, and leading to economic stagnation. How can people support the retail sector when they have no disposable income? The job losses in Homebase is yet another blow to the domestic economy, and will cause huge hardship for the workers and the families.”