As the Taoiseach will be aware, many businesses remain under significant pressure, particularly in the cities and towns across the country. Commercial rates are a significant burden on businesses. They are also an outdated model in terms of garnering revenue for county and city councils. In the era of the Internet, it is particularly noteworthy that it is people with fixed buildings that are paying for all of the services in a given area, vis-à-vis the online developments that have taken place. To a large extent, there is a significant discriminatory element attached to commercial rates in that a smaller pool of people are now expected to pay them.
The programme for Government contains a commitment to implement the Valuation Act so we can get a sustainable commercial rates base for employers and new start-ups in particular. That is what the programme for Government specifies. Will the Taoiseach confirm implementation of the Valuation Act has commenced? When will it be completed? Does the Government have further plans for change?