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Large retailer levy could make things worse for everyone
Jun '11
Proposals from the Executive for a tax on large retail premises risk damaging the reputation of Northern Ireland as a place to do business and deterring future investment.

More details about the planned Large Retailer Levy have been published by the Northern Ireland Executive (Tuesday) as it opens a consultation.

The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC), which represents multiple retailers in Northern Ireland, warns the plans are a threat to future economic prosperity. They contradict calls for Northern Ireland to be able to set its own, lower level of corporation tax in an effort to attract more inward investment.

The NIRC will be formally launched in Belfast on Thursday as a result of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) expanding its activity with the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly.

Northern Ireland Retail Consortium Director, Jane Bevis, said: “The retail sector as a whole – small and large retailers alike – is paying too high a proportion of the Business Rates bill. We agree small retailers need a helping hand. We agree town centres need investment and regeneration. But the large retailer levy, which will also apply to large stores on the high street, could make things worse for everyone.

“Discussions on reducing corporation tax in Northern Ireland aim, quite rightly, to stimulate inward investment. This contradictory levy will act as a deterrent to inward investment and expansion. It is claimed to be a temporary measure, but who will have any confidence in that?

“Town centres need a comprehensive package of measures to encourage investment, draw in customers and provide a good mix of retail, leisure and public service outlets for the whole community. Large retailers have a track record of sustained investment in Business Improvement Districts, to the benefit of all local retailers. That's where the focus should be.”

The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) is a sister organisation of the British Retail Consortium (BRC). It represents the multiple retailers in BRC membership who trade in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC)

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