CSNA lobbies for lower rates

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CSNA highlights "inherent unfairness" of seeking the same rates as previous years during the current economic climate.



14 August 2009

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The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association of Ireland has launched a campaign to tackle the issues of rates of pay, Local Authority rates and energy rates, following its last annual general meeting. According to the CSNA, the aim is to highlight the “inherent unfairness” of seeking rates at the same level as previous years during the present serious economic downturn.

Speaking to ShelfLife, CSNA chief executive Vincent Jennings said the association will be “building up a head of steam” over the next period, and seeking political understanding on the issues within influential quarters. Jennings said that “traction can be gotten” from certain politicians, naming former junior minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment John McGuinness as a potential ally.

Jennings also said the association is particularly concerned about the fact that the possession of an off-licence automatically increases the valuation of a retail premises for the purposes of calculating rates by €10,000. He said, as a consequence, the campaign to reduce rates will be a “two-pronged attack” that will include a “legal challenge against the licencing aspect” as well as “looking for a political understanding to look at a different method of valuation.”

“The valuation process, like practically everything, was predicated by upward movement. It was never considered that inflation would not be a link into the future. It never considered deflation, never considered actual decline in sales,” Jennings commented.

The CSNA is due to meet the National Off-Licence Association to discuss the off-licence valuation matter further.



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