Commercial Rates Hike a Worry for Dublin City’s Competitiveness

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By Chamber Press Office, 12 November 2019

Dublin Chamber has expressed concern at reports Dublin City Council is planning a 1.5% increase in commercial rates in the city.
 
Dublin Chamber, which represents 1,300 businesses in the Dublin region, said the proposed hike would heap yet more cost pressure on businesses as the city strives to remain a competitive place in which to do business.
 
The Chamber said the Council’s need to increase commercial rates for the second consecutive year is evidence of the need for a review of how Dublin City Council is funded – including the amount of money that is provided to it from central government. 
 
According to Dublin Chamber’s Director of Public & International Affairs Aebhric Mc Gibney: “This proposed increase is concerning for businesses in the city, many of which have had to cope with considerable VAT, insurance and utility price increases over the past two years. We all want a vibrant city centre. Ensuring the heart of Dublin is a welcoming, safe and pleasant environment requires that appropriate levels of funding. This is particularly important given the high pressure currently being placed on services in Dublin due to the buoyant economy and strong tourism activity.”
 
Dublin Chamber said that the pressure on the city’s finances has not been helped by the decision by Dublin City’s elected councillors to retain a 15% reduction in the Local Property Tax take. Dublin Chamber said this decision was “short-sighted” and showed that councillors are more interested in winning votes than in ensuring the city is properly funded.
 
Dublin Chamber has also questioned the reported plan by Dublin City Council to once again increase parking charges in the city. The Chamber notes that parking charges were only just significantly increased in the past few months.
 
Mr Mc Gibney said: “While we support the push to decrease the number of cars coming in to Dublin, any further increase in parking charges should be delayed until there is certainly and tangible progress on a number of the major public transport and cycling projects that have been earmarked for Dublin, including BusConnects, MetroLink and the Liffey Cycle Route. The unfortunate reality is that many of the people who currently drive and park in the city are doing so, not because they want to, but due to a lack of compelling alternative options.”