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27 Jun 2022

Rural communities struggling with loss of small businesses due to VAT rates, says Longford councillor

Garry Murtagh

Fine Gael Cllr Garry Murtagh

Cllr Garry Murtagh has received unanimous support from his council colleagues following a motion to write to the Minister of Business, Employment & Retail Damien English for the consideration of a three-tier Vat rate, the purpose of which is “to save small and rural businesses, that have been family run institutions for generations”.

“These businesses are struggling, to remain sustainable and financially viable to operate, let alone for anyone to invest in or take over the running of,”he said.

“There needs to be serious investment/ incentives for these businesses such as pubs, filling stations, shops, etc., in small villages and rural areas in order to save these invaluable services that are the very fabric of rural Ireland.”

Cllr Murtagh went on to say that small villages such as Aughnacliffe, Newtown- Cashel, Abbeylara, etc., were losing these vital services to the point of no return.

Cllr PJ Reilly added PJ & Maggie Farrell Abbeylara recently closed the doors to their grocery shop which is “absolutely devastating to the community and will be sorely missed”, as they provided a lifeline and invaluable service to many families.

Cllr John Brown, agreed it was an “extremely good notice of motion” and that the government of the day needs to take stock of the seriousness of the situation, that small business find themselves in.

He suggested that the motion should include “The Value Added Tax Registration threshold requirement, for small business such as grocery shops and public houses etc. be set at a minimum turnover of €250,000.”

Cllr Murtagh accepted his contribution to be included in the correspondence to the Minister and thanked the former accountant for his experience and insight into the difficulties that retailers face in small communities.

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