County Armagh businesses continue to cripple if recent rates increases stand, according to one Westminster candidate.
Sinn Fein’s Mickey Brady has said Land and Property Services and the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) must address the huge discrepancies between the non-domestic rates increases that were forecast and the bills that businesses are now receiving.
He said that if these increases go ahead “they will have a devastating effect” on local businesses and the wider communities.
“One of the big issues we’re getting on the doors is the massive increase in non-domestic rates a number of businesses across the constituency have received and the effect these astronomical increases are going to have,” Mr Brady said.
“In their Rebalancing Business Rates document, Land and Property claimed that rates increases in the constituency would be marginal, ranging from around 0.5% to around 1.7%
“The feedback we have been getting from right across the constituency would indicate that this is not the case, with increases on certain businesses ranging anywhere from 50% to well over 100%.
“This will put enormous pressure on home-grown businesses with a worrying number of people telling us that they will have no choice but to either cut staff of close down altogether.
“Sinn Fein is extremely concerned about this and already we have spoken to the Chair of the Finance Committee on this issue as well as the Head of Rates Policy.
“We would urge anyone who has received a rates bill with a significant increase to contact us with all their details so that we can build a portfolio of businesses and charges to present to Land and Property and the DFP.
“We would also advise people to contact Land and Property Services and dispute any increase they have been given if they feel it is above what it should be.”
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