Belfast City Council votes for a 1.48% increase

Belfast City Council tonight has agreed for the first time in four years to increase district rates by 1.48%.

The council has for years made efficiencies of £20 million since 2006 and has set a target of £2 million a year for until 2019.

The council says that the effect on ratepayers will be small arguing that on average the increase represents;

33p per month more for a terraced house.

50p for a three bedroom semi-detached house.

£1.12p for four bedroom detached homes.

The business sector will see an increase of £8.67 per month for an office and £8.46p for retail.

Had the council not agreed to an increase an immediate deficit £2,1 million would have emerged to pay for cost increases beyond its control.

Yet, it was not a very happy debate in council tonight as the UUP attempted to block the decision, arguing that rates should not be increased  and that the council should look again at the budget.

Over the hour long debate, contentious debates between the Alliance/DUP and the UUP took place with the Alliance group leader accusing the UUP’s Jim Rodgers of “mumbo jimbonomics.”

 

Alderman Rodgers did admit that he did not have anything down in “black and white” to detail what savings he would go for to stop a rates increase.

Regardless, when the debate did come to close, there was a strong majority on the council in favour of increasing rates.

Sinn Fein, Alliance and  SDLP (except Declan Boyle) voted for an increase.

UUP, TUV  and Gerry Carroll voted against the increase.

DUP, PUP and Ruth Patterson abstained.

31 for the increase, 9 against, 16 abstained.

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  • chrisjones2

    “Alderman Rodgers did admit that he did not have anything down in “black and white” to detail what savings he would go for to stop a rates increase.”

    Really? No information? I am shocked.

  • barnshee

    Its only other peoples money –sure it will barely raise the level in the trough

  • Where are the lists of who voted for what? No mention of the Green councillor vote.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Why did Declan Boyle not vote ? Conflict of Interest as a Holylands Land Owner ? or hoping the increase would be defeated ?

  • murdockp

    Not true. All small businesses will get a 25% rise on 1 April.

  • aquifer

    A bargain should have been doubled. When mad Tory policies, quantitative easing, and looted global cash are pumping up housing prices, anything that takes steam out of the market is a good thing. And councils have powers to do great things for employment and culture. The Austerity hoax now stands exposed as a voodoo cult, long live local democracy, peace and prosperity.

  • David McCann

    Greens were not present.

  • jm

    Similar small business rates relief schemes in England, Scotland and Wales have been extended into 2016/17. i rang up the central rates office today to see if it had been decided conclusively that our scheme comes to an end this March and was told that they didn’t know the answer.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Inflation is low I’d guess at the moment, my own feeling is that the 1.48% is £2,1 million deficit they’ve built up.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well to be honest, I don’t see the landlords being the main victims here, and here’s why a man with 7 x four bedroom detached homes pays less to these increases than someone who has a shop. (I don’t know how many landlords having an office, but many do not)

    There is a legitimate question about the returns that can be expected on rates increase on retail outfits and offices, which at the end of the day are a main employer, when so many are going bust or moving out of Belfast. To me that may be a bit concerning than getting another 28p a month off of students to pay to get their rubbish out of your house.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Kevin your Spin does not answer the question ! Why did an SDLP Landlord Councillor refused to vote on the issue ?

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t know, I’m not him and he hasn’t to my knowledge made a statement. I wasn’t spinning anything, just pointing out these hikes will hit shops and small businesses a lot more than landlords. Do the maths yourself if you think I’m somehow distracting from the issue.