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By Chamber Press Office, 26 November 2019
Dublin Chamber has expressed disappointment and frustration at the decision taken by Dublin City councillors this evening to increase commercial rates by almost 3%.
The Chamber said the need to increase commercial rates – for the second year running - was entirely unnecessary as the budgetary challenge had been entirely foreseeable earlier in the year.
Councillors have opted to ignore the advice of Dublin Chamber, the voice of business in Dublin, and also the advice of the Chief Executive, the Chamber said.
According to Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke: “It’s disappointing to see businesses yet again forced to pick up the tab as councillors avoid making the difficult decisions. In deciding to retain the -15% reduction in Local Property Tax, councillors have refused to countenance €12m in potential income for the city. Had councillors instead implemented a reduction of -5% in LPT then the shortfall in the Council’s budget would have been met. This decision is extremely short-sighted. It is frustrating for businesses to be told that there is no option but to raise their rates again. The idea that businesses would be left to pick up the bill, when councillors have many other fund-raising levers available to them, is hugely disrespectful to the thousands of rate-paying companies in the city. Councillors should be looking at policies which will allow these businesses to maintain and create jobs in the city – but, instead, they have opted for a harsh increase in rates.”
Ms Burke added: “Businesses in the city are being hit by cost increases from all angles, with last year’s VAT and commercial rates hikes coming on top of rising insurance and utilities costs and increased wage pressure from staff. There’s more to come too, with water rates in the city set to rise by an average of 18% next year – and now a near 3% increase in their commercial rates bill.”