Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Bangor - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Small Business need our help.

Thursday 24th November 2011

Last week the Minister for Finance and Personnel, Sammy Wilson, published the report and summary of responses on the plans to rebalance the business rates system.

Last week the Minister for Finance and Personnel, Sammy Wilson, published the report and summary of responses on the plans to rebalance the business rates system. The extension of the Small Businesses Relief Scheme is hopefully to be extended so that all companies with net annual rateable value of £5,001–£10,000 will be entitled to 20% relief under the plans. This will be a valuable asset to help our small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to survive and prosper in North Down within a difficult economic environment. 

What is being proposed is a short term measure to last for three years from April 2012. This will see the rates bill for the 77 largest retail premises in Northern Ireland increasing by around £85,000 per store. All of the funds raised from this initiative will be transferred as automatic discounts to the rates bills of the SMEs. Many large retailers have reacted unfavourably to this proposed legislation but few can argue that they cannot afford it. Last year Tesco’s, for example, made £3.8 billion pounds in profit. It does not take an economist to realise that for North Down, and for that matter Northern Ireland to prosper we must help the SMEs just surviving under incredibly tough economic circumstances”

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