The Fine Gael Group on Dublin City Council last night (14th Nov) opposed a Sinn Fein-led Budget that proposes an increase in commercial rates for the City’s 20,000 ratepayers.
Recognising that the impact of Brexit on our economy is still uncertain together with the potential implementation of the economic policies of the U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump, Fine Gael Councillors believe that this is not the time to impose a further burden on business in the city.
Cllr Paddy McCartan who sat on the Budget Consultative Group said “Since 2009 Fine Gael has advocated rate reductions each year and we are acutely aware that for many small businesses their recovery is fragile and they must remain competitive.” He went on to say “Fine Gael voted to reduce the rate of Local Property Tax for homeowners and believe that commercial ratepayers are being singled out as a soft target as over 40% of Dublin City Council income comes from commercial rates.”
Group Leader, Cllr Ray McAdam, tabled the Fine Gael amendment to the Estimates that would see commercial rates being frozen for the next twelve months. He said “the Fine Gael Group believes that now is not the time to increase business rates. The proposed amendment was prudent, cautious and constructive. My party does not believe in simply opposing for opposition sake. When we disagree with a proposal, we put forward an alternative detailing how we would do things differently.”
The proposed amendment was voted down by the majority of Councillors at last night’s meeting.