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Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 11:45 am on 22nd November 2016.

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Photo of William Humphrey William Humphrey DUP 11:45 am, 22nd November 2016

I thank the Minister for the statement he has made. I very much welcome the review of non-domestic rates for businesses. A boost to local businesses, particularly small businesses, is vital. Has the Minister been in touch with and liaised with Belfast City Council, the chamber of commerce in Belfast and traders' associations, particularly around the two pilot schemes that he mentioned on small-business empowerment zones. I must say to the House that I am concerned that there is a zone in east Belfast, which runs from the foot of the Newtownards Road to the Holywood Arches, and one in west Belfast, which runs from Castle Street in the city centre the whole length of the Falls Road to the bottom of the Whiterock Road. That is hardly fair or equitable, and the outcomes cannot be compared.