Fine Gael’s General Election candidate Noel Rock has slammed Sinn Féin’s Dublin City Council Budget which has decided to leave the burden of rates on small business owners completely unchanged, despite recent figures obtained by Councillor Rock which shows that rates bills are currently over €100m in arrears.

Speaking on the matter, Councillor Rock said: “I think it is deeply shameful that Sinn Fein refused the Fine Gael proposal of a modest 0.5% rates reduction. We can see from the figures I obtained that over 60% of shopkeepers are in arrears – some of these are people who are simply paying from month to month, but the overall figures suggest at least 20% of shops in Dublin City are in some form of arrears”.

Councillor Rock continued: “Given Sinn Féin’s “Monday million” where they managed to discover an additional €1m grant to bolster their budget, we would have had the possibility of bringing about a full 1% reduction in rates. The lack of any modest reduction in rates is a real slap in the face to our hardworking shopkeepers”. 

Councillor Rock concluded: “As of last week, we saw that Dublin businesses are, in many cases, struggling to make payments on the difficult burden of rates. These aren’t big businesses: they’re our cafes, shoe shops, corner shops, and they deserve a reduction in these rates. Sinn Féin’s shameful anti-business rhetoric continues in this Budget”.