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Jobs boost as council cuts business rates

DUBLIN City Council hopes to help boost employment by reducing commercial rates by a further 1pc next year.

Speaking at the council's annual budget meeting last night, Cllr Dermot Lacey said the continued reduction in commercial rates would help small and medium businesses in particular.

Last year's cut in commercial rates have had a positive impact on businesses in Dublin -- and led to a reduction in vacant properties.

"We have seen a reduction in the vacancy rate for commercial properties in Dublin from 15 down to 10pc," Cllr Sean Montague said.

"More businesses are surviving and that's good for employment. We have to do whatever we can to help businesses in this time when they are really struggling."

However, Cllr Michael Mac Donnacha argued that money saved by keeping rates at this year's level could be used to fund vital housing maintenance schemes around Dublin.

The new budget will see a 5pc increase in commercial water rates to €1.99 per 1,000 litres.

Cllr Mac Donnacha proposed that commercial water rates should increase by 10pc again to help raise funding for local authority housing.

The council voted against Mac Donnacha's proposed budget amendments.

In relation to cuts in city maintenance, Cllr Ciaran Perry said the impact can be seen on the streets.

"A paltry amount of money is being spent on graffiti and the problem is getting worse. Leaves which used to be swept once a fortnight are now being swept once every 12 weeks," he claimed.

The city budget was passed last night following a number of amendments.