AQW 199/17-22 – Supporting town centres

Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Finance how he intends to support town centres following the recent review of the non-domestic rating system.

(AQW 199/17-22)

Minister of Finance: My Department hosted an Innovation Lab with the Departments for Infrastructure and Communities last July to consider ‘How can we make town and city centres places where people want to live, work, visit and do business in?’ This identified agreed questions for each Department to consider further. My Department has been considering two questions: ‘How do we reform the tax system to ensure we have sufficient revenue to pay for public services and the tax burden is fair?’ and ‘How do we reduce the individual rates burden without decreasing the level of funding that rates provides?’ These questions form a core part of the Business Rates Review that was launched in 2019. The public consultation closed only a matter of weeks ago, and I will use the findings to inform my own views on how to best tackle this important issue.