The Strangford Assembly Member said: “Water charges and rates hikes punish those on low incomes and must be scrapped immediately. To create a fair mechanism, we would scrap the proposed rates system and tap tax and replace them with local income tax which would be based on ability to pay.
“We have been consistent that rates hike and tap tax must be abolished and an income tax system must be introduced.
“Water charges also fail the fairness test. They does not match up to the ‘polluter pays’ principle because people can waste water but still pay same as those that are being environmentally friendly.
“Other parties constantly criticise Direct Rule Ministers on these matters, but they refuse to take responsibility for decision making themselves. Alliance will take responsibility for decision making and will work towards scrapping rates hikes and the tap tax.
“To alleviate the funding burden which the proposed rates hike and water charges are meant to tackle, we would end segregation.
“Segregation here costs £1 billion per year. There is no need to provide two schools or two leisure centres, to pander to those that want to divide our society, when having only one school or leisure centre will stop segregation, make more financial sense and provide the highest quality public service. The £1 billion cost of segregation could be better spent on stopping the tap tax and extortionate rates hikes.”