Committee report on rates flawed says Alliance

Alliance Party Finance Spokesperson, Stephen Farry MLA, has described the report of the Assembly Finance Committee as ‘flawed’ on the grounds that it dismisses further investigation of a local income tax as a replacement for the regional rate. Dr Farry, who is a member of the Finance Committee, voted against the adoption of the report on this basis.

Dr Stephen Farry stated:

“While there is much in this Committee Report that reflects the perspective of the Alliance Party, the report is compromised in that it recommends putting any further consideration replacing the regional rate with a local income tax off into future.

“At a time when more and more people are expressing concern at a form of local taxation based on value of property rather than ability to pay, it is wrong to dismiss further examination of this option.

“Indeed, with water charges set to be added to the rate, the current problems with the system are set to become more acute.

“Furthermore, as Scotland is increasing considering a local income tax as a replacement for their council tax, it makes no sense to rule out this option.

“While I can support many of the proposals contained in the report, and indeed advocated many of them, I believe that the report contains a major flaw.”


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