Government must put off rates hikes to give people here a fairer deal – Alliance

Former Lord Mayor of Belfast, Tom Ekin, has demanded that government postpone rates hikes for one year so that a fair system can be implemented to replace them. He said his party has offered the solution to the rates crisis, and that the current system must be scrapped and replaced with a local income-based system. Tom Ekin raised the prospect of postponing rates hikes during a Belfast City council debate on the motion he tabled on rates.

The Balmoral Alliance Councillor said: “The government should postpone rates hikes for one year. This will ensure that a fair income-based system can be put in place, as a means of scrapping the rates hikes permanently.

“In unofficial conversations with politicians from all other parties, I detected that there would be a consensus in favour of this proposal.

“Alliance has demanded for decades that rates must be scrapped and replaced with an income-based system. Delaying the introduction of these punitive rates increases will give us the chance to raise money on a fairer basis. We need to bin these ridiculous rates once and for all, to ensure we can pay for public services without punishing people on low incomes and older people.

“The Treasury should have no great difficulty in delaying rates rises for a year, as we were assured that these rates are revenue neutral.

“These disgusting rates hikes will not only affect Greater Belfast, they will hit homeowner around Northern Ireland in the coming years, due to rising house prices. Government must listen to the people here and let us scrap rates rises.”


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