Retailers demand reform of 'dysfunctional' rates system

Retailers are calling for reform of the local authority rates system.

The organisation is pushing for a new Rates Valuation Bill before the end of 2017 to ensure more efficiency and cost effectiveness in the industry.

Rate increases alongside increasing labour, rent and utilities is putting pressure on small businesses who say they are seeing little return in the way of services for their rates.

While retailers who operate nationwide have to deal with up to 31 local authorities.

Tom Burke, director of Retail Ireland, says a centralised system would benefit both retailers and the local authorities.

"We've spoken to a number of different sources within Government and to be fair this is an issue which is of interest right across the various political parties

"There seems to be recognition right across the Dáil that this is an issue for Irish business, that this is drawing and draining the competitive nature of the Irish retail sector.

"I guess what we're asking for is rapid action on this - this is an issue which is impacting Irish retailers today, here and now, and it's impacting their competitive position, and something needs to be done."

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