VFI seeks support for LA funding overhaul

VFI President Gerry Mellett has called for a radical overhaul of the way in which Local Authorities are funded and has called on VFI members to support the organisation Employers for Affordable Rates which was recently established in Wexford.

 “We all recognise the need for Local Authorities to be funded and our members, plus other small and medium businesses, have been doing more than our bit,” he stated, “But it has now reached a level where these rates have become punitive and are actually putting a huge financial strain on employers.
“Rates, as presently structured, are costing jobs.

There has to be due consideration for the business in question and an honest assessment of an ability to pay based on factors like turnover.
“In ‘Working For Our Future’, Fine Gael’s jobs and economic development strategy, they outlined that Local Authorities will be expected to ‘reduce commercial rates every year until 2014.’
“That is but a start. We now need the fundamental structural review as outlined above.
“Our industry supports close to 80,000 employees – but it used to support 100,000 not so long ago. We must incentivise employment and break down barriers to doing business and the current system for funding Local Authorities is one such barrier.
“The current rates system is not sustainable and if continued, will see further businesses go to the wall and will see even longer queues at dole offices.”

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