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December 4th, 2013 @ 09:31

Local Government Bill Must Not Increase Cost of Business

Chambers Ireland has today called on Government to ensure that the cost of doing business does not rise as a result of the Local Government Bill 2013. The call comes in advance of a meeting of the select Sub-committee on the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Speaking this morning, Chambers Ireland Deputy Chief Executive, Seán Murphy, said “The Local Government Bill provides a welcome opportunity for much needed reform of Local Government. Reforms that are focused on significantly reducing back office costs and delivering front line services for all consumers are welcome. The introduction of Municipal districts is a chance to address the excessive costs placed on many small businesses; however, aspects of the Bill give rise to worries that some costs may actually increase for business as a result.”

“Two key concerns for businesses under this Bill are commercial rates and increased charges such as parking in town centres. Where Town Councils are to be integrated into County Councils with higher commercial rates, the schedule for introducing a common rate band must be mandated to extend to ten years rather than a minimum of three years as is currently planned.”

“Of further worry to businesses in town centres is the planned funding model for the new Municipal Districts envisaged in the Bill. Chambers have major concerns that this model will incentivise the increasing of car parking charges in town centres. Set incorrectly, these charges act as a barrier to trade. New municipalities will effectively have their hands tied by provisions that penalize them from cutting parking fees. These provisions must be modified to enable Local Government to encourage consumers to shop in their local town centre rather than opting for out of town shopping venues with free parking facilities.”

“The reform of Local Government is a positive step forward but it must not be at the expense of business or the local economy,” he concluded.

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Allergan was established in Westport in 1977 and has repeatedly expanded over the last four decades, contributing significantly to the local economy.

The Westport facility is now the largest manufacturing plant within the company network, and it also has the largest number of Allergan staff in one location, outside of the company’s corporate headquarters.

In Ireland, our focus fosters deep engagement with medical specialists and we make it our business to listen closely to their needs so that together we can advance patient care. We combine this strategic focus with a diversified approach that enables us to follow our research and development into new specialty areas where unmet needs are significant.

In partnership with the medical community, we bring scientific excellence and rigour to deliver leading products that improve patient outcomes. We know we are successful when doctors and patients place their trust in our products and our company, when our employees excel and when our efforts make a meaningful difference in the lives of the patients and communities we serve.

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