Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described the closure of the former SuperValu premises in Market Place Clonmel as a worrying indicator of the pressures that continue to bear down on the SME sector. Deputy McGrath was speaking as hopes for the stores survival were finally dashed:
“The current Commercial Rates system which is operative in places like Clonmel and across the County is unfair and anything but sustainable.
The fact that Tipperary County Council took in €30 million in rates in 2015 alone would suggest that the Council is the only one receiving the benefit from such vast sums.
When the plans to close SuperValu were announced I made immediate moves to have a more realistic and economically viable commercial rates regime introduced, but I was informed there will be no change until at least 2017.
This is completely unacceptable.
Added to this, I also have to question the reasons given by SuperValu’s parent group Musgrave’s as to why the store was being targeted for closure.
We know that SuperValu is a dominant player in the supermarket sector with year on year profits being made at a national level.
In light of that I would have thought that the decades of service given by the workers in Clonmel could have been honoured with a firmer commitment to retain their jobs despite the massive levels of rates the company had to pay,” concluded Deputy McGrath.