Rate cuts must be a priority – Connaughton

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The need to secure rates cuts throughout the country will have to be a priority for the Government for 2013, according to East Galway Deputy Connaughton.

‘Evidence of the major difficulties being experienced by small and medium businesses is there for everyone to see on the streets of towns and villages throughout East Galway, with closed shops, pubs, cafes, garages and small service businesses.

‘Limerick City Council recently published its proposed budget for next year, which included a 5% cut in rates and two funds for marketing the city. The lead shown by Limerick City Council must be examined by every other local authorities, including Galway County Council, with a view to stimulating local economies.

 

‘Doing nothing is not an option, not for Councils and certainly not for the country as a whole. If Councils continue on their present course, revenue from rates will continue to fall as shutters come down on more and more businesses and it must be remembered that the small businesses to be found in our villages and towns are the lifeblood of local economies.

‘The rates burden experienced by small businesses throughout the country is excessive, given that the service provided by the council does not include water, refuse and in many cases, small businesses in east Galway cannot access a major element of the basic infrastructure needed to conduct business in the 21st century, high-speed broadband.

‘Limerick City Council is to be commended on taking the lead on this issue, but it is a lead that many others need to follow to ensure that the economic lifeblood of our towns and villages is retained.’