Rating

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the likely impact of his decision to rate vacant premises on (a) small and medium-sized and (b) large businesses in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office

Our assessment on the likely impact on all vacant commercial property, and in particular, small commercial property came from a variety of different sources, including the Regulatory Impact Assessment, New TSN, Equality Impact Assessment, as well as submissions made during the public consultation exercise in 2002 by the DETI and DFP Assembly Committees and submissions from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). All this evidence was summarised, analysed and considered objectively and the various options were discussed openly with representatives of the business community before a final decision was taken. The impact of this measure will be felt by property owners rather than small businesses that tend to rent property and therefore are unlikely to face a vacant rate cost.

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