With regard to proposals to provide tax incentives for those who are willing to renovate or take over disused or vacant business premises in rural towns and villages, I would welcome any such move. This is something that I have been proposing since I went into politics and it is something that I will be addressing in my major policy document on Rural Ireland which I am working on at the moment. I would also be proposing that private citizens who undertake such work should get their VAT returned and that businesses who are prepared to renovate and refurbish these buildings get a rebate on their rates. Huge amounts of money have been taken out of the economy of every county in property taxes so this would be a way of giving something back. I will also be asking the Minister to engage with the banks to provide loans for this purpose. We have to revive our rural towns and villages and this would be a good way to get tourism going again and to assist with the revival of local economies which is so badly needed. This is a matter that I will be following up on an ongoing basis into the future.
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