Written answers

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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100. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the measures he will now take to maintain and extend support measures which are currently operational by his Department given reports (details supplied) to support the play and leisure industry which includes all indoor activity centres such as play centres, bowling alleys and other activities that have experienced an overnight devastating cancellation of bookings; the assurances that he can give to help maintain viability in the industry as it attempts to trade through the pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59491/21]

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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In order to support ratepayers, and in recognition of the impacts of COVID 19 and the associated public health restrictions, the Government put in place a commercial rates waiver in 2020 and recouped €729m to local authorities in respect of its cost.  This meant that for eligible businesses their commercial rates were funded by Government for nine months of 2020.  €480m was allocated by Government to fund the cost of the nine month waiver this year.  These are unprecedented measures, which offer support to businesses and financial certainty to local authorities. 

The Government, in Budget 2022, announced a more targeted commercial rates waiver for Q4 2021 to cover the hospitality and tourism sectors and €62.3m has been allocated by Government for this purpose.  The waiver covers activity centres and bowling-alleys and other leisure-related business activities.

The waiver will have a positive impact for businesses, communities and for jobs. It will also ensure that local authorities receive funding in respect of commercial rates, which is critical in order for the local government sector to continue to deliver for the communities they serve.

As has been the case since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the commercial rates waiver will be kept under review.


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