Councillor Rory O’Connor has called on the Government to immediately cease the application of commercial rates on small business owners until March 29th in response to the economic impact of Coronavirus.
This follows the Government announcement that schools, colleges, pubs, restaurants and childcare facilities will close until March 29th. The move leaves 140,000 people redundant overnight. This is a combination of 70,000 restaurant workers, 50,000 pub and bar staff, and around 20,000 crèche and childcare workers.
Commercial rates are one of the largest income sources for Wicklow County Council, providing an estimated €27.9m in 2019. This income provides 27% of total funding for local services in Wicklow and makes a vital contribution to the delivery of local services. Wicklow County Council acts as the collection agent for the rates and doesn’t have the power to over the charge.
Councillor Rory O’Connor said “Coronavirus is nothing like this State has ever seen before, it has mobilised communities to work together not seen on this scale since the emergency. We need all arms of the state working together to support both our frontline services but also small businesses who are the backbone of the local economy. I would ask the Government to allow us to act by suspending commercial rates for two weeks, protecting our local economy in this time of crisis.”
“I would also like to commend all our Medical Staff, Defence Forces, Garda Síochána, retailers and other basic services for their heroic work in supporting the community.”
For health information and advice on Coronavirus, read more here.