Employers' group IBEC says that businesses are continuing to pay boomtime commercial rates and water charges.

It notes that businesses pay €1.4 billion every year in commercial rates and a further €200m in water charges.

The group points out that company turnover on average has declined by 25% in recent years, but this has not been reflected in local charges.

A new report from the group shows that just one local authority decreased its water and waste water charges, but nine imposed increases ranging from 3% to 11%. It noted that almost all authorities are charging substantially more than they did in 2007.

IBEC also points to a divergence in water charges across different local authorities with businesses in Wicklow paying the most. Companies in Kildare pay the lowest water charges.

IBEC has called on local authorities to reduce costs and pass on the savings.

Its head of energy and environment policy Neil Walker said that it is crucial that the planned transition to Irish Water does not lead to further increases for commercial users.

''The regulator must ensure that ongoing reforms do not undermine the ability of businesses to survive, compete and create jobs,'' Mr Walker said.

He said that the Government needs to encourage investment and activity in the domestic economy in order to lift domestic demand and drive sustainable growth.