Dear Minister O’Brien
The Irish Petrol Retailers Association (IPRA) is the trade association for independent petrol retailers in Ireland. The sector employs over 100,000 people and if you include family this represents over 250,000 people dependent on the industry. Many of our members are smaller retail sites, often the bedrock and only retail facility in some rural villages.
Firstly, we want to congratulate you on your elevation to Minister for Housing and wish you well in that position.
Secondly, you are well aware of the issue surrounding the revaluation of retail forecourts and the huge disparity in valuations between forecourt and large retail operators. Basically, retail sites are penalised for having fuel pumps outside their retail offering. At our last meeting you indicated an understanding of our position and if I read the meeting correctly, you supported the retailers’ position.
When I read again your home page on the web it says, “Right at the centre of our life’s work is respect for all, sharing and spreading the wealth we create to all those who deserve it by right, treating people fairly, and giving maximum equal access to all who need services and due care, promoting the talent and potential of all for our greater good”.
The independent service station operator has not been treated fairly and we would really appreciate your assistance in seeking a resolution to the current impasse. The smaller independent retailer will not survive if Government does not tackle this inequality as a matter of urgency as our members’ are being asked for these revised rate payments now and are not in a position to pay them post Covid-19.
We should be grateful if you could meet a deputation of retailers virtually to discuss this matter urgently and seek a resolution that is fair for all parties.
Michael Griffin CEO
Irish Petrol Retailers Association