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The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has expressed surprise and dismay at the Infrastructure Ministers’ decision to hike on-street car charges in Belfast, Newry and Lisburn without any consultation with traders’ groups.

Charges in Belfast City Centre will increase by 20p per hour from £1.20 to £1.40, while a number of streets on the edge of the city centre with a current charge of 80p per hour will increase to £1.20 per hour. Charges in Newry will increase from 40p to 60p per hour and in Lisburn, from 60p to 80p per hour.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has expressed concern with the Prime Minister's announcement that the UK leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union will have a negative impact on Northern Ireland and its border with the Republic.

 NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

Commenting on the forthcoming Assembly Elections, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“A key challenge immediately post-election is for the political parties to hit the ground running for immediate talks on forming an administration”

“The national and international headlines of this crisis and the continuing political instability is both bad for business and the economy as a whole”

Commenting on Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard’s proposed changes to Belfast bus lanes, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Reducing three bus lanes from 24 to 12 hours is a welcome and common sense decision. It was clearly unfair to fine drivers using bus lanes when buses were not even running”

“Given the depth of concern many city centre retailers have with over-zealous fining policy in regard of the bus lanes, it is disappointing that the Minister has decided to tighten enforcement”

Commenting this afternoon Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This situation is very concerning as political instability is neither good for business nor the economy”

“Big issues need to tackled such as Brexit, Business Rate Reform, Corporation Tax, Investment in Skills and modernisation of our Infrastructure which are all vital for the future of our local economy”

In its New Year’s Message, the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has made Rates Reform its main priority in 2017 and called for a reboot of the Executive’s economic policy.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed the decision of the RoI Planning Authority, An Bord Pleanála, to approve the southern part of the North-South Interconnector.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This decision by An Bord Pleanála is welcome progress for this vital infrastructure project ahead of the Northern Ireland Public Inquiry in February”

“The Interconnector will provide security of electricity supply and reduce costs to business and domestic consumers in Northern Ireland”

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has today published a consultation paper on the package of measures announced on the 22 November. 

This initiates a nine week consultation period, ending on 16 February 2016.

The Minister said: “My Rates Rethink proposals are the biggest package of reforms to our rates system for a generation. I want to see a modern, fairer rates system, which encourages regeneration, investment and entrepreneurship, while at the same time discourages dereliction and decline.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed the focus on infrastructure investment in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

NIIRTA welcomes the additional £250 million for investment in our infrastructure and would urge the Executive to make the York Street Interchange a top priority for funding”

“Increasing the personal tax allowance is a positive step, allowing working people to keep more of their salaries and hopefully spend more in our retail sector”

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has unveiled his proposals for a groundbreaking shake-up of the rates system.

‘A Rates Rethink: Spurring Economic Growth’ includes a £22million investment in retail and hospitality businesses, the introduction of two pilot Business Empowerment Zones and removal of the domestic rates cap.

Commenting on the package, the Minister said: “I want to make sure that the rates system encourages regeneration, investment and entrepreneurship, while at the same time discourages dereliction and decline.”

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