Cowen calls on government to deliver on commercial rates bill

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Barry Cowen TD

Barry Cowen TD

As Fine Gael preoccupies itself with a leadership race between Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Barry Cowen TD has called on the Government to accelerate its plan for a new commercial rates Bill. Cowen says Fianna Fáil has made this legislation a priority and has put forward its own Bill to help resolve the matter.

Deputy Cowen stated, “Fianna Fáil has formulated a Bill that will reduce the impact of rates valuations on businesses by putting a cap on the rate increases themselves, and allowing businesses to spread their increased payments over a five year period, rather than frontloading it. This will help give businesses a chance to adjust to their new valuation levels. Local Authorities will not lose out as they don’t benefit from valuation increases."

“We will use this Bill to put pressure on the Government to come forward with its own long awaited legislation," he insisted. 

“The Government has been promising a new rates Bill for a number of months but it has yet to be published. I am calling on Minister Coveney to prioritise this issue, which is affecting businesses across the country. We will use our legislation to help strengthen the Government’s proposed Bill."

“This is an issue that impacts directly on thousands of jobs in every region of the country. It needs to get the attention it deserves. Businesses are currently undergoing a re-evaluation process and are facing increased rates of between 50-100%. This is clearly unsustainable for a small business. It also risks penalising bricks and mortar shops on main streets in towns right across the country. This is the opposite of what we need," Cowen elaborated. 

“Rather than hitting shops and businesses with additional costs we should be encouraging more businesses into towns. I will ensure that the forthcoming Bill does just that by using the Fianna Fáil Bill to put pressure on the Government. Now it’s time for the Minister to come up with the goods”, he concluded. 

If you have a story for us, sports news, an event happening in your area, or if you want to submit pictures or videos, contact the Offaly Express team via e-mail to, or through our Facebook.