Alliance Leader lobbies Lords to stop rates crisis in vote tomorrow

Alliance Leader David Ford has lobbied representatives in the House of Lords in a bid to scrap rates hikes. Proposed rates legislation comes before the House of Lords for a vote tomorrow. If this Order is passed then unfair rates increases will apply in Northern Ireland from April 2007.

David Ford said: “Alliance has been lobbying representatives across the House of Lords in a bid to stop the rates crisis in Northern Ireland.

“We have been given assurances by Liberal Democrat peers that they will vote against this rates bill and we have asked Conservatives and cross-benchers to do the same to ensure that these ludicrous rates hikes can be scrapped.

“Alliance has the solution to the rates crisis. We would scrap rates hikes and introduce a fair local income tax. This solution would be based on people’s earnings and would help older people and those on low incomes. We need devolution here to let us get rid of rates and water tax and get a fair system in place.

“Whatever the system of local taxation, the decision should be taken after a full debate in the Assembly, not by an unamendable Order at Westminster.

“Devolution must be restored as soon as possible so that we can prevent these unfair charges from being forced on Northern Ireland by direct rule dictators. I call on the sectarian parties to have some regard for local taxpayers who are suffering immeasurably under direct rule, and get devolution up and running as soon as possible.”


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