Belfast Telegraph

Business bodies demand review of NI rates

Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

The retail and hospitality trades have described Northern Ireland's business rates system as "broken and antiquated" after meeting the civil servant heading the Department of Finance.

Following a meeting yesterday with Permanent Secretary Sue Gray, Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster called for the department to carry out a review of the system so that a future minister would be able to enact "radical change".

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI, said: "We left the Permanent Secretary and her officials in no doubt as to how bad the situation is in regard to our broken and antiquated system of business rates."

Colin Neill, the head of Hospitality Ulster, added: "Independent retailers and hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland are paying the highest business rates in the UK and they have little in the way of the rate relief schemes our mainland counterparts enjoy."

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