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Possibility of another Clare rates bill increase next year


THE commercial rates bills faced by Clare businesses could increase by 2.5% next year.

Commercial rates increased by 3.8% in 2022 and it was anticipated that there would be no further increase in 2023.

However the level of inflation seen this year was not forecast, and county councillors have been warned that if a 2.5% increase is not agreed their General Municipal Allocations (GMA) will have to be cut.

Further discussions between elected representatives and the executive are set to take place ahead of November 25, when the Council is due to agree a budget.

The Shannon Muncipal District’s draft budget meeting took place this week, and afterwards Independent Gerry Flynn said that giving indicative figures in advance of an overall budget being passed is pointless.

“Really and truly it was a non event. Having these meetings before the budget is approved is ridiculous.

“The granting of the GMA budget is connected to the buoyancy of the main budget, if you don’t have buoyancy in the main budget you can’t be giving out figures for the GMA, which yesterday we passed with a health warning, it’s only a provisional passing of the figure, because the budget isn’t sorted yet, the deliberations are still going on.”

Councillor Flynn said that not increasing rates would be a priority for him.

“I said, and Councillor Donna McGettigan supported me, that if we have to lose a percentage of the GMA to stop an extra charge on business people in relation to rates, then I would support that. I think it’s important.

“I was listening this morning to an item about Flora Crowe who got an electricity bill of €20,000.

“Small businesses are screwed to the wall, their doors will be closed and people will be out of work, and Councillors are contemplating an increase in rates?”

He said he would vote against any budget with an increase in rates, while he said others will have to make hard choices.

“The budget is not balanced and there are councillors who have to pony up and make a decision.”

Cathaoirleach of Shannon Municipal District Michael Begley said that agreeing a budget won’t be easy.

“We’re going to have a tough couple of weeks leading up to the 25th. There will be some hard discussions and hard decisions to be made.”

Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.