The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has outlined new priorities for future Business Rates policy at its Rates Seminar tonight (9th February)
Speaking in advance of the seminar, NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “Business Rates is our number one priority in 2015, particularly in supporting our members who have lost out in the current Revaluation process.
“While Corporation Tax directly supports larger businesses, which is to be welcomed, more support is needed to support our indigenous local businesses with sensible reforms to our rating system.
“We face a perfect storm of challenges such as the Revaluation, Rates Convergence of the eleven Councils, the future of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme and a wider review of Rating Policy. Therefore we would urge the Finance Minister to establish a Business Rates Advisory Forum, made up of businesses representatives to advise and act as a touchstone group on the impact of any changes.
“NIIRTA wants the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme to be extended from the current £15k NAV qualifying figure to £17k NAV by 2017 –bringing even more small businesses in to the discount scheme.
“The Empty Premises Relief Scheme, which has helped to create nearly 400 new businesses by giving them 50% rate relief in their vital first of trading need.”