Lobby group urges cut in business rates
Business lobby group IBEC has said an agreement should be drawn up to ensure any savings made by local authorities are directly repaid to businesses through cuts in commercial rates.
The lobby group called on candidates and political parties to commit to wide-ranging local government reforms to cut costs and improve efficiencies in its manifesto for the local elections, published yesterday.
The body claimed business contributes more than €1.6bn per year to the cost of local government through commercial rates and water charges.
Reg McCabe, IBEC's head of regional policy, said business funds about one third of the cost of local government through the commercial rates system and other local measures such as water services, and waste charges.
"We recognise the role played by local authorities in providing essential services, but the costs are too high, and there is scope for savings," Mr McCabe said.
"Official figures show that between 2008 and 2013 the commercial rates contribution increased from 28pc to 35pc.
"Reductions are now long overdue to allow business to grow and compete, and to support growth in jobs."