Rates Collection Agency misled public and is causing severe hardship

Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long MLA has blasted the Rates Collection Agency for giving the public incorrect information over rates relief and causing financial hardship in many local households. The Rates Collection Agency (RCA) published a leaflet called ‘Information about your rates bill’ which incorrectly informed local people that they are entitled to more rates relief than the Agency intends to provide. The leaflet’s aim was to assist people during the change in the rates system from rental values to capital values; however, it has led to local people being left out of pocket.

The East Belfast Alliance MLA said: “I am very annoyed at the serious mistake made by the RCA. Their blunder has left many people, who budgeted according to information given on their leaflet, out of pocket.

“I am stunned that such a massive error has been made on this vitally important issue. Local people have enough to put up with given the current rates rises – now, they have been dealt yet another financial bodyblow because of the RCA’s incompetence.

“The leaflet stated that people would be entitled to a far higher level of rates relief than they are actually getting. This had led to many people, who planned as the information suggested, now facing a very difficult time financially.

“The rates system was already complicated enough, now the RCA have shown what a farce it is by getting it wrong themselves.

“If the RCA cannot even give people correct information on rates relief, how can we expect them to deliver anything near a fair deal for local households.

“What is the RCA going to do to address this mammoth mistake? Urgent action must be taken to provide financial assistance for the people they misled. They must also get the correct information across to the public, to ensure that other people around Northern Ireland are not forced to face severe financial difficulties when rates bills come through their letterbox.

“We are seeking a satisfactory outcome to this disgraceful episode and will keep the pressure on the RCA until we get it.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *