The Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council says the Government will have to provide a financial package for local authorities so that they can continue to provide essential services.
Businesses across the county that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak will be able to defer payment of their commercial rates for the next three months as part of a government plan that has been agreed with local authorities.
While welcoming the rates freeze for businesses, Westport-based councillor Brendan Mulroy said the Government will also have to provide a package to support local authorities during and after this crisis.
“While the council is still operational, it still relies on the money coming from central government. It is not coming from the rates of businesses because it is not there to be given. Moving forward on that, we will have to look to the Government to come back and support not only the businesses but also the councils, because we need money to operate also,” he told The Mayo News.
‘The money will be there’
In December, Mayo County Council raised commercial rates in the county by 4 percent after it was agreed that there would be no rates increased in 2021. Cllr Mulroy acknowledged the difficulties that businesses are facing in the current crisis, saying a financial package will have to be put in place by the Government to support these businesses to ensure that they remain operating after the crisis passes.
He also added that Mayo County Council will also look at what it can do for businesses.
“Rates for businesses will have to be looked at. You can’t get rates if businesses are closed, and the council will have to take that on board,” he said.
Cllr Mulroy credited the Government for the measures taken to support people who have been let go by businesses affected by the crisis, as well as self-employed people whose businesses have been impacted. He said that while people are fearful for their future, he believes the Government will be there to support them.
“The reality is the people who have been laid off are still fearful. While some companies have stepped up to the mark to pay their employees, the fear is the longer this goes on the more uncertain it will become. At the moment I think the vast majority of people are happy with what they receive from the Government, and I have to congratulate the Government on that. But the longer this goes on the fear is, will the money be there?
“I am happy to say that the money will be there, and the Government will back it.”