Rating Policy

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Sinn Féin 11:45 am, 22nd November 2016

I thank the Member for his question. I go back to a word that he uses: opportunities. I see this as an opportunity. We have to proceed with care. As I said in the introduction to my statement, we want to encourage and spur economic growth, and we want to discourage dereliction, but that needs to be handled carefully. Of course, empty business units are already liable for empty property rates — 50% of rates. Thus far, we have not got it right. I have visited too many places where I see empty factories that have effectively been abandoned because there is no onus on anyone to try to sort out the problem. With the Member's support and help, we will tease our way through this. Together, we can seize opportunities, and one of those opportunities is to bring back into productive use the empty factories that I see across the landscape.