Time to cut business rates

The Conservative Party has challenged the Executive to cut business rates.

“We need to know what Stormont’s answer to George Osborne’s radical move on business rates is going to be,” said  Johnny Andrews, Economy  spokesperson for the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland.

“Northern Ireland businesses have to pay, depending upon the council area, between 51.66p to 59.5p in the pound compared with 48.2p in England, meaning some can be paying up to 20% more business rates than a comparable business in England. With George Osborne now devolving the power to set business to local councils in England it is likely that business rates in England will fall further.”

The Comber businessman said it was essential that the Finance Minister Arlene Foster laid out the Executive’s plans for business rates for the next few years.

“Businesses need to be able to plan for the future and if we are to remain competitive – or preferably become more competitive we need to cut business rates.”

Johnny Andrewsclaimed that with a decision on a Corporation Tax being  delayed it is “Imperative that Arlene Foster comes forward with a plan to cut business rates to at least with a level with the current rate in England.”