Sinn Féin calls for commercial rates ‘holiday’ for SMEs

cropped-img_7587.jpgSinn Féin Cllr. Conor D. McGuinness has called for a a commercial rates ‘holiday’ for the hospitality, tourism, retails and SME sectors for a prescribed period of time to deal with the increasing hardship that businesses find themselves in as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

McGuinness said:

“A number of sectors will face significant cash flow problems in the time ahead, due to a reduction in trade, tourism, and more recent measures implemented by Government.

“While I welcome the flexibility shown by Revenue to facilitate Phased Payment Arrangements for companies experiencing temporary cash flow problems, it will be necessary to offer further supports and certainty to struggling businesses and sectors who will struggle to meet tax payments as a result of economic impact of the Coronavirus outbreak and associated measures.

“The caretaker government needs to listen to the views of all parties and introduce measures that can be implemented to support sectors of our economy, and a range of practicable measures which could be pursued to provide certainty and relief to businesses and consumers, including

– Implementing a commercial rates “holiday” for the hospitality, tourism, retail and SME sectors for a prescribed period of time, such as 3 months, with the Central Exchequer funding the shortfall in revenue experienced by local authorities;

– Facilitating the deferral of VAT payments for the hospitality, tourism, retail and SME sectors for a prescribed period of time, such as 3 months;

– The scrapping of charges for card transactions, including contactless and chip-and-pin transactions to include non-cash payments.

“This will be a difficult time for workers and many of our indigenous sectors, and we must work together to respond to this challenge in the interests of workers and families.”