Business Rates To Be Reviewed Says DfF

Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster have both welcomed the announcement by the Department of Finance that a comprehensive review of business rates is to be held.

The Department of Finance Permanent Secretary Sue Gray made the announcement today at the Retail NI-DWF Local Government conference at Titanic. This Review had been a long-time objective of both Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster.

From left, Colin Neill CEO Hospitality Ulster, Julie Galbraith DWF Law Partner, Glyn Roberts, CEO Retail NI, and Sue Gray, Department of Finance Permanent Secretary,

The Chief Executives of Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster Glyn Roberts and Colin Neill said: “Both our organisations are delighted that the Department of Finance have announced this review into non-domestic rates. We have consistently lobbied for this over a number of years and are pleased that our joint call has been heard.

“While this is not an end in itself, it is a means to an end. This review provides us with a roadmap for radical change to an antiquated and not fit for purpose system of business rates which is a major burden for our members”

“In this review we will be outlining significant changes to Rates, including our proposals for a targeted approach to small business rates relief, a revamp of the Rates Hardship fund, green rates rebate for business who invest in carbon neutral technology and greater relief for new start businesses.”

“At the last UK Budget, the Chancellor gave independent retailers and hospitality businesses a third off their rate bills in England. We want nothing less than this for our members in Northern Ireland”

Julie Galbraith, Partner, Northern Ireland Head of Real Estate and Retail, Food, and Hospitality, DWF Belfast said:  The fluidity in the relationship between retail, the high street and the consumer is only set to accelerate in 2019 and beyond.  It is therefore welcome news that a comprehensive review of business rates will be held by the Department of Finance.

“This is a very important step for public and private sector collaboration, which is vital if we are to drive the ‘overhaul’ and regeneration of our high streets in Northern Ireland.”