Belfast Telegraph

Business rates 'should be based on ability to pay'

Business rates in Northern Ireland should be based on the ability to pay, the Chamber of Commerce said.

President Stephen McCully said the assessment should switch from one based on the size of the business to one more reflective of economic conditions.

He also called for greater transparency over what the business levy pays for and said it should be linked to the level and quality of public services.

"Members were also strongly of the view that more effective public sector efficiency savings should be introduced which would in turn reduce the burden on business to contribute so much of the government's revenue through the business rating system."

The Chamber responded to the Department of Finance and Personnel's Review of Northern Ireland's Non-Domestic Rating System, which closed last week.

Mr McCully added: " The majority of NI Chamber members (78%) believe that the current rates system is in need of reform particularly to make it more reflective of economic conditions.

"Our members believe that a business rating system should be based on the ability to pay (for example on the basis of profits) as opposed to the size of business (for example on the basis of jobs)."

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