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Councillor Gerard Fogarty Welcomes Cut In Thurles Rates

Thurles Fianna Fáil Councillor Mr Gerard Fogarty has heartily welcomed the amendment to the Town Council Budget, which is to include a 1.5 point cut in the AVR to 56.5.

Speaking to Thurles. Info today Councillor Fogarty stated; “With the huge pressures facing enterprise in Thurles, particularly in and around Liberty Square, I hope this will be an incentive for new start-up businesses, while giving some small relief to current struggling enterprises.
I must compliment the Town Clerk, Mr Michael Ryan and his wonderful staff who have worked so very hard throughout this year with much less funding, in preparing this well considered draft budget.

However, I personally would not have supported a draft budget which merely froze the rates again this year.  A failure to cut the rate this year would have been particularly damning as the County Council, had lowered their rate by approximately 3 points. I think that in the context of the debate for the retention of Town Councils, that it would have been particularly fatal for Thurles Town Council to have a rate higher than the County’s.

I have often called for major reform of the rates legislation to allow local authorities more subjective powers locally to give incentives to start-ups and struggling businesses. There also needs to be tighter controls on the rates refund for landlords of vacant premises, as an incentive to lower rent and attract new enterprise. In my opinion it acts presently as a disincentive to start – up & expanding business.

The personal debt crisis is severely hitting small businesses in addition to the credit crunch. I hear every week of credit refusal stories. Banks are escaping the eye of the Credit Review Office by recommending applicants not to even apply for credit. I would encourage business owners to contact the Credit Review Office which has been very successful in overturning more than 55% of completed applications sent to it, since its establishment.

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