Finance Minister asked to revalue household rates
A cross party delegation of Fermanagh and Omagh District Councillors met with Finance Minister, M irt n Muilleoir, at the Townhall, Enniskillen this week to discuss a number of key issues for local residents and businesses.
Council members highlighted the importance of securing the necessary investment to complete the A5 dual carriageway in its entirety, to enhance the N4 East West corridor including the southern bypass in Enniskillen, to improve the A32 between Omagh and Enniskillen and to upgrade the rural road network. They also discussed the requirement for increased investment in broadband technology including fibre to premises and improved mobile telecommunications.
Councillors also discussed rating policy with the Minister in relation to vacant town centre properties and partly completed properties and highlighted the need for the Minister to bring forward a revaluation of the domestic sector as capital values used in the last revaluation have changed substantially.
They also discussed the financial implications of Brexit and in particular, the uncertainty regarding EU funding going forward.
Other issues discussed included the tourism potential of the area, the need to maximise tourist spend and the difficulties encountered as a result of the different VAT rates that apply within the tourism and hospitality sector in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Mr. Muilleoir said: I was delighted to be able to meet a range of groups and individuals in County Fermanagh today to listen to their views at a time when the EU referendum vote continues to cause uncertainty and concern to the local community. With my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Pascal Donohue TD, I have already written to the European Commission to express the concerns of both governments in relation to the threat to European funding. We have also asked for a meeting in regard to protecting the 500million in Peace and INTERREG funds due between now and 2021 and which are of particular benefit to the border region.
I have also taken steps to shorten the timescale for European funding applications in line with my belief that we should endeavour to maximise European funding in the time ahead.
During his visit to Enniskillen, the Finance Minister also met with representatives from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and visited the South West College and Waterways Ireland Headquarters.