Duncan welcomes rates relief awareness push, but calls for rates reform

Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Sara Duncan has welcomed efforts to ensure that older people who are eligible to gain rates relief do so. She did however say that the current rates system was unfair and stated that moves towards an income-based system would be much better. Her comments came after Finance Minister Nigel Dodds published plans to introduce data sharing legislation to improve rates relief uptake.

Cllr Sara Duncan said: “I am glad to see that the authorities are trying to make sure that more older people who are eligible for rates relief take up this initiative. I would, however, rather see total reform of the rates system to make it fairer. The creation on an income-based system would mean that there would be far better for older people.

“The current rates system hits older people and people on low incomes extremely hard.

“I must however welcome this initiative, as I have spoken to many people who were not aware they qualified for benefits like pension credits or disability benefits and will not realize they can apply for rate relief. This proposed measure will ensure that those least able to pay their rates will not miss out on rate relief.”


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