Senator O’Domhnaill’s rate proposals ‘unfeasible’

The Government has described a proposal from Donegal Senator Brian O'Domhnaill for it to consider a 50% reduction in commercial rates for a 15 month period as unfeasible.

Speaking in the Seanad last night, the general election candidate said while all companies across Ireland have issues, he believes the proximity of the border presents particular problems in Donegal.

He told Junior Minister Mary White that a number of businesses in Donegal are struggling, and in one instance, over 30 jobs are at risk:
[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/brianrates.mp3[/podcast]

Responding, Minister White said rates are a matter for local authorities, most of which are striving to minimise the impact of rates on business.

In what will be seen as a reference to the future return of water charges, MInister White said other local revenue may be available in the future, and this will lessen the dependence on commercial rates.

However, she made it clear that any substantial reduction would not be funded by government, and it would be unrealistic to expect councils to absorb such a cut:
[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/whiterates.mp3[/podcast]