Duff says rates are “silent killer”


Anyone who thinks that the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers’ annual convention is an opportunity for member estate agents to forget the woes of the property market for a night and enjoy a good knees up, should think again. On the night IPAV president, Ronald Duff (pictured right with outgoing president Liam O’Donnell) wasn’t in the mood for false jollity and delivered a hard-hitting speech that must have had some agents weeping into their starters in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, Co Meath.

Referring to this “horrendous and prolonged recession”, he criticised the banks for the lack of available credit and referred to rates as the “silent killer” of small- and medium-sized enterprises. “While problems with banks and lending have been out in the open since 2008, very little has been said about rates, which are forcing businesses to shut up shop on a daily basis. Rates are a most unjust form of taxation bearing no relation to the capability of the commercial business to pay them.” Duff said he was “very disappointed” with the record of this Government so far. “Our brightest and best young people have had to emigrate . . . Unemployment continues to be a festering sore on our landscape, yet politicians seem to be more concerned with megaphone debates across the airwaves about penalty points and such trivia. ”