Charity shops should be exempt from rates – Deering

22nd March, 2016

“Charity shops should be exempt from commercial rates,” says Fine Gael TD for Carlow/ Kilkenny, Pat Deering.

“I have recently been informed by a number of Carlow charity shops that they are now subject to commercial rates where they had not been previously. These are not-for-profit organisations working for the benefit of others. They are not selling produce on a commercial basis, and so should not be liable to pay commercial rates.

“The St. Vincent De Paul shop in Bagnelstown, which is only open about 10 hours per week and is run by volunteers, is now liable for €800 per annum in commercial rates. The larger St Vincent De Paul shop in Carlow Town is now liable for €8000 per annum.

“Charity shops such as these play a hugely valuable role in our local communities and the money they will have to put aside for commercial rates could be put to better use helping the most vulnerable in our society.

“I have written to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin and the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly about this matter.

“I am highlighting for the two Ministers the need to give Local Authorities discretion on this matter, so they can ensure that charity shops are exempt from commercial rates, which is only right and fair. If necessary I will be looking for changes to the relevant legislation to ensure this happens.”