29 September 2015

The Northern Ireland Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) recently launched its Cut the Cost Campaign in the Stormont Hotel at an event sponsored by Osborne King.  The main aim of the event was to outline key issues affecting the retail trade industry in Northern Ireland such as rates, energy costs, red tape and concerns about the cost of the national living wage.

The well-attended event included a panel discussion comprising MLAs representing the five main parties: Adrian Cochrane-Watson, UUP, Anna Lo, MBE, Alliance, Robin Newton, DUP, Máirtín O’ Muilleor, SF and Fearghal McKinney, SDLP.  Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA Chief Executive, chaired the panel discussion and took questions from NIIRTA members addressed to the MLAs during the event.

Photo - Copyright © Kevin Cooper Photoline

Robert Watson representing sponsor, Osborne King, spoke during the event and commented afterwards, “For many businesses, rates are one of the three big overheads after rent and staff costs.  Whilst the recent revaluation has been good news for some, it has brought huge increases in rates for others.  Part of the problem is the sudden re-adjustment caused by the re-valuation, but this could be avoided if the gap between re-valuations was reduced to say three instead of the 12 years since the last one.  It is also important that occupiers are aware of the potential reliefs available and of their rights to challenge valuations.  However it is advisable to seek experienced professional guidance before undertaking an appeal as valuations can go up as well as down.”

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