Alliance Assembly Enterprise Spokesperson Sean Neeson has warned that those in Northern Ireland seeking to create wealth must not be hindered by industrial rates hikes.
The Carrickfergus Alderman stated: “The Government has come to agree with us that the private/public sector imbalance must be tackled urgently, to ensure we create the wealth to pay for our own public services. Yet now it contradicts itself by forcing businesses with huge potential to pay punitive rates which will have a direct effect on the bottom line.
“The Government has failed to take account of Northern Ireland’s geographical position on the island of Ireland and its common banking system with the Republic. Businesses here are already at a competitive disadvantage for many reasons, not least the different corporate taxation rates – now business start-ups and extensions face industrial rates north of the border but not, in practice, in the Republic.
“Government should be encouraging those seeking to create wealth here. In the same way that gender and religious imbalances need clear, coherent actions if they are to be addressed effectively, so does the public/private sector imbalance that exists here. We are calling for
industrial rates payments to be capped at 25%, where they are now, so we can be clear about precisely what effect they have on investment and start-ups.
“Furthermore, since there is apparently all-party support on this issue, I would re-state my party’s call for an all-party economic forum to provide a clear economic way forward.”