Call for cap on rates to be scrapped

Belfast City Councillor Ross Brown has today (Monday, 01 June 2015) called for the cap on rates to be scrapped.

Ross Brown of the Green Party said,

“I am proposing that the cap on rates for properties valued over £400,000 should be removed.

“Government is currently losing £3,400,000 in revenue each year as a result of the rates cap. This is money which could be spent reducing rates tax for everyone or alternatively invested in our public services.

“Current cuts in public spending have a disproportionately negative impact on those in most deprived areas, and scrapping the rates cap would begin to redress the increasing imbalance in our society.

“Alongside the cap this motion proposes to reintroduce the rates deferral scheme to protect those who are asset rich but income poor by allowing them to defer payment of their rates until they sell their house”.

Ross Brown added

“Political colleagues from across the spectrum have argued that they are in favour of first class public services. If that is really what they want, then we need to have a mature and rational debate about where the extra money is coming from to fund them.

Notes:

Green Party Councillor Ross Brown will tonight propose the following motion at Belfast City Council:

This Council recognises that cuts in spending on public services has a disproportionately negative impact on the poorest and most vulnerable in society in general and in the most deprived areas of Belfast in particular; considers that the cap on rates payable on properties valued over £400,000 to be a regressive, unaffordable and unjustified perk for the very wealthiest in society and calls on the NI Executive to both abolish the cap on rates and to reinstate the Rates Deferral Scheme to afford appropriate protection to rate payers who are asset rich income poor.

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