Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Local Government Rates and Other Matters Bill 2018: Committee and Remaining Stages
I made a commitment to the AILG to address the issue, outside the legislative process if I can do that. I recognise that it is a matter of concern for councillors. It was an anomaly in the rates legislation of a number of years ago that the offices of Oireachtas Members were rates-exempt while those of other public representatives were not. I do not think this was done on purpose but was an oversight. The playing pitch has to be levelled fully and I would include MEPs in this also. Commercial rates should apply to commercial activity, whether it is in a charity shop or a large multiple, but they should not apply to stuff that is not commercial activity. It should apply to councillors' offices as well as those of Oireachtas Members.