• NCC calls for full disclosure of Attorney General’s advice.
• Supreme Court must be allowed to adjudicate.
ISME, Thursday 4th December, 2014.
ISME, Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, has once again called on the Government to take immediate action on upward only rent reviews (UORR). Yesterday’s release of the National Competitiveness Council’s report for 2014 has “in the interest of transparency” called on the Government to publish the advice from the Attorney General on the issue.
Commenting, ISME CEO Mark Fielding stated, “As we know the Government promised left, right and centre to abolish the UORR in the run up to the last election. Labour even launched their campaign from a premises subsequently closed down by sky-high rent review. Then, when in power, they collectively ran for cover behind the Attorney General’s skirts and reneged on the promise”.
“The Government thinks this problem has gone away but it hasn't. Many small businesses are still struggling to cope with the high rents which, when combined with decreased levels of consumer spending puts their very survival on the line.”
“Sadly, for many small businesses the problem has gone away. Because it’s too late, they've already had to close down.”
Senator Feargal Quinn's Bill on upward only rent reviews is a way to deal with the problem. Advice from Senior Counsel provided some time ago on this topic has made it very clear that legislation to address upward only rents would be constitutional. Our position in ISME is that the legislation should be allowed to go through the Dáil. Then it will be for the President to decide whether or not it should be referred to the Supreme Court.
The National Competitiveness Council is correct in highlighting this issue which has been crippling viable SMEs since the beginning of the recession and continues to do so.
“Today we're urging the Government to stand by the commitment which they made to the people in the Programme for Government and to enact legislation to deal with the legacy issue of upward only rent reviews. We're calling on Minister Fitzgerald to take Senator Feargal Quinn's Bill and have it passed by the Dáil without further delay”, concluded Fielding.