Alliance says scrap the cap and scrap the rates

Former Belfast Lord Mayor and Alliance Economy Spokesperson, Tom Ekin, has hit out at the government announcement that a cap will be placed on rates if devolution is restored. Alliance wants more than that, they want to see rates and the ridiculous increases scraped altogether and replaced with a fair local income tax. Tom Ekin’s demands follow Minister David Hanson’s announcement regarding a rates cap today.

The South Belfast Alliance Councillor said: “A cap on rates is a totally unjust mechanism. It means that those with lower rates charges might have to foot the bill for those whose rates are capped.

“Capping is a blunt instrument which puts unfair extra charges on those in less expensive houses.

“Alliance wants to scrap rates hikes altogether, so there would be no need for this crude cap. The proposed rates increases in future years are going to hit people in many areas of Northern Ireland very hard, not just those from South Belfast. We want to replace rates with a fair local income tax. This tax would be based on people’s ability to pay and would help older people and those on low incomes.

“A local income tax is the only fair solution to both the rates and tap tax crises. We need to get devolution up and running again so that we can scrap rates, not merely put a cap on them. This disgraceful rates system needs to be binned, not merely tinkered with.”


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