Blanket cancellation of council rates will not happen, says DCC

‘We will deal with this on a case-by-case basis,’ says Dublin City Council chief executive

The statue of Phil Lynott in Dublin city centre wears a facemask as the city deals with the coronavirus outbreak. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The statue of Phil Lynott in Dublin city centre wears a facemask as the city deals with the coronavirus outbreak. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

It is not feasible to cancel all council rates, Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan has said.

Any businesses that have had to close because of coronavirus should contact the local authority to discuss their circumstances, he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“We will have to be reasonable,” he said. “We will deal with this on a case-by-case basis.”

Some businesses are functioning “near normal” and there is no reason why they cannot pay their rates, he said.

“Those in significant difficulty will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If they cannot pay, we won’t pursue them through the courts. We will have to be reasonable.”

The local authority will deal with the reduction in funding by “looking to central government,” he said. It was important that businesses that can pay do so to continue funding vital services.

When asked about rent reductions for those who have lost their jobs because of the virus, Mr Keegan pointed out that Dublin City Council operates a social rent system. “If their income goes down then their rent goes down. If they alert us that their income has been reduced, then their rent will be reduced and will be affordable.”