Owen Keegan: Not feasible for council to cancel rates for all businesses

Owen Keegan: Not feasible for council to cancel rates for all businesses
Owen Keegan

The chief executive of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, has said that it is not feasible to introduce a blanket cancellation of rates.

Any businesses that have had to close because of the coronavirus should contact the local authority to discuss their circumstances. “We will have to be reasonable,” he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

“We will deal with this on a case by case basis.”

Some businesses are functioning “near normal” and there is no reason why they cannot pay their rates, he said.

“Those in significant difficulty will be dealt with on a case by case basis. If they cannot pay, we won’t pursue them through the courts. We will have to be reasonable.

We will deal with any requests in a sympathetic way.

The local authority will deal with the reduction in funding by “looking to central government,” he said. It was important that businesses that can pay do so to continue funding vital services.

When asked about rent reductions for those who have lost their jobs because of the virus, Mr Keegan pointed out that Dublin City Council operates a social rent system.

“If their income goes down then their rent goes down. If they alert us that their income has been reduced, then their rent will be reduced and will be affordable.”

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