FIANNA Fáil TD for Cork South Central, Micheál Martin, has expressed his disappointment with Cork County Council’s decision not to reduce rates for businesses affected by the recent floods in Douglas.
Deputy Martin commented: “I find it really disappointing that Cork County Council didn’t see it fit to review its rates for the businesses in Douglas affected by the recent floods. Almost one month later some of the businesses affected have not re-opened, the huge loss in income coupled with the refurbishment costs means some of them may not be able to afford paying their yearly rates on top of this.
“I appreciate the fact that Councils have been hit with reductions in their allocation under the Local Government Fund, this along with a price freeze on rates by Cork County Council means they are stretched financially. However, the businesses affected in Douglas may be forced to close for a number of months, to be shut in the busy summer months is something that will severally impact on sales and profit in the short and long term. They need some respite and a temporary freeze on rates or a reduction in rates for the period they were closed would be of huge benefit as these businesses try and get back on their feet. This would free up some extra finance to maybe open their businesses sooner and avail of what’s left of the busy summer period.
“I am calling on Cork County Council to review this decision and provide some respite for the many retailers that were forced to close through no fault of their own. The Council does have a good track record in engaging with their rate payers and I certainly feel this is one instance where any leniency could result in huge benefits for the businesses concerned.”