Leitrim County Council must examine how it can use the commercial rates reform introduced by Fine Gael in Government to lower operating costs for childcare providers Fine Gael General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim, Cllr Sinéad Maguire, has said.
The Local Government Rates and Other Matters Act 2019 provides a real opportunity for the council to change the situation on the ground for childcare providers, which will lead to lower costs for parents. The Act allows local authorities to target important national and local objectives in Rates Alleviation and Abatement Schemes, including business sectors that are identified in a county's Local Development Plan.
"There is a golden opportunity here to ensure that childcare is one sector which is identified as one which could benefit from a rate alleviation or abatement scheme," said Cllr Maguire.
"This would see a significant saving for childcare providers who I believe would then pass on that saving to parents to remain competitive. High commercial rates faced by creche owners is one of the factors driving up business costs, which is then passed on to parents," she added.
"It is imperative that the council examines if there is scope to use the new powers under the Act to lower commercial rates for for-profit childcare providers. This is a chance to make a real change for hard-working families across Co Leitrim.
"Affordable childcare is one of my priority policy areas as I believe families in County Leitrim should have access to high quality childcare. Fine Gael has made a landmark investment in childcare while in Government and will continue to work to ensure access to affordable childcare for everyone."