Belfast Telegraph

Finance Minister Conor Murphy to look at rates 'emergency'

Finance Minister Conor Murphy
Finance Minister Conor Murphy
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has said he will be "picking up quickly" on business rates after a revaluation created the prospect of rising rates for many firms.

Reval2020, which reviewed rateable values for around 74,000 businesses, resulted in the rateable values of some independent shops increasing by 40%.

Other businesses such as bars saw their rateable values increase three-fold, which is likely to translate into increases in their rates bills. A consultation which closed in November has also looked into wider reform of the system.

Writing in today's Business Telegraph, Retail NI chief Glyn Roberts says: "We no longer have a rates crisis - it is now an emergency and Conor Murphy must take immediate action to save jobs and businesses.

"Do Land and Property Services (LPS) actually have any idea of the impact this revaluation will have on independent retailers and the thousands of jobs they support?"

But the new minister said: "This is something I'll be picking up quickly. I'm committed to creating a rating system which is fair and helps businesses grow and prosper."

He added that officials were looking at "working up" options after analysing the responses received to the consultation.

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