Charity shops in Northern Ireland have always benefited from a 100% charitable exemption from paying business rates.
As part of its Review of the Non-Domestic Rating System, the Department of Finance and Personnel is consulting on whether charity shops should lose all or part of this exemption.
The #MoreThanAShop campaign is about raising awareness and appreciation of the considerable social, economic and environmental benefits the charity retail sector makes in Northern Ireland each year.
This campaign asserts that the net public benefit of charity shops – in raising vital funds for good causes; keeping our high streets alive; providing local jobs; offering volunteering and training opportunities; and diverting thousands of tonnes from landfill each year – should not be taxed.
Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association (CRA), said: 'Every year the charity retail sector raises around £10.5m for good causes in Northern Ireland including tackling poverty, funding world-leading medical research and running local hospices.
'If our charity shops had to pay full rates, this could mean up to £5.5m would no longer be available to charities to fund their vital life-saving and life-changing work.'
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