Alliance Party Deputy Leader Naomi Long has said unfair rates rises are a product of services being provided on a sectarian basis in Northern Ireland.
The East Belfast Assembly member stated: “People receiving their rates bills know that what they are being asked to pay is unfair. But let us not forget that the bulk of the rise is enforced by the Treasury and will go to Central Government, not to local councils – and that this money will be used to provide educational, leisure, health and other services on a segregated basis.
“This means paying for the upkeep of buildings which would not be necessary in a normal society where services are provided on an integrated basis according to individual need, rather than on a segregated basis according to tribal division.
“The Treasury has simply decided enough is enough for Northern Ireland, and that the taxpayer in Great Britain should no longer fund the luxury of segregated inefficiency.
“The Alliance Party has consistently argued that the people of Northern Ireland should no longer fund this luxury either. It is a luxury we cannot afford financially, and more importantly still it is a luxury we cannot afford morally.
“We need to end segregated service provision, in favour of integrated, high-quality public services shared by the whole community.”