Longford/Westmeath TD Robert Troy turns heat on government over commercial rates saga

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford Westmeath TD Robert Troy

Longford/Westmeath TD Robert Troy

The Government is coming under heightened pressure this week to fast-track new commercial rates legislation to ease the burden felt by cash-strapped businesses.

Fianna Fáil Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy has gone on the offensive this week, accusing government bosses of effectively deserting hard pressed firms in the lead up to Christmas.

In a forthright and curt assessment of Ireland's present day commerical rates system, Mr Troy singled out Local Government Minister Eoghan Murphy for particular criticism.

“There are hundreds of businesses here in Longford and Westmeath, and right across the country, which have seen their rates dramatically increase over the past number of years,” he said.

“In some cases the increases have been over 400%.

“This has put massive pressure on these businesses, many of which are family run enterprises, and could even threaten their futures.

“This Government has been promising to address this issue for years but no concrete action has been taken.”

Mr Troy said his party had attempted to step in by publishing its Valuation (Amendment Bill) 2017 earlier this year.

Fianna Fáil's Transport, Tourism and Sport spokesperson said references to the drafting of a Rates Bill back in April were of scant relevance to the daily hardships facing businesses.

“It’s clear that despite positive soundings, this Government does not see this important issue as a priority.

“These are local businesses employing local people – the backbone of our economy,” he added.

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