Seanad debates

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

3:00 am

Photo of Terry LeydenTerry Leyden (Fianna Fail)

It was flattery, indeed, but it would be nice if they acknowledged the work of Deputy Micheál Martin, the leader of the Fianna Fáil Party, as well as acknowledging his work on tourism. Nevertheless, they are moving in the right direction when they follow the policies of Fianna Fáil.

The Referendum Commission is doing an extremely bad job on publicity. I cannot understand the kind of coverage it is providing, which is neither witty nor informative. People are unaware that there are two referendums on 27 October. It is right to highlight that point here today and I hope we can bring it to the attention of the commission. The Referendum Commission needs to have clear statements on both those issues because people will not be aware that three ballot papers will be issued on the day. We would be doing the State some service in bringing this to the commission's attention.

I ask the Leader to arrange for the Minister for Finance, Deputy Michael Noonan, to attend the House to outline how he proposes to address the urgent need for a national revaluation of rateable properties to bring more equity, fairness and transparency into the local authority rating system. Following such a revaluation there would be a much closer and uniform relationship between the current annual rented values of properties, which have shifted significantly in recent times, and the commercial rate liability. It is a major issue and I believe it would be worthwhile for the Leader to bring this matter to the Minister's attention. The rates being imposed are crippling small businesses which are finding it extremely hard to continue. This change must be brought about, so the Minister should attend the House to debate the issue.


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