At the NI Assembly on Monday, Christopher Stalford received an answer to an assembly question directed at Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, the Finance Minister, as to the rates relief statistics for Orange Halls.
The response tells us that since April 2006, the Orange institution has saved an estimated £8.12 million by being exempt from paying rates.
During this time, of course, the DUP used the much criticised ‘Petition of Concern’ mechanism to block a Sínn Fein bill which would have enabled amateur sports clubs (such as Football, Rugby, GAA and others) to be exempt from paying rates.
While many of the signatures on the DUP PoC were tippexed and replaced with others; this did, in fact, stop any chance of this exemption becoming possible.
Kris tweets ferociously as @belfastbarman and runs an associated site, www.belfastbarman.com where he occasionally opines his views. He lived abroad for a while and as such, feels he will never really ‘get’ this place. Formerly a barman, he regularly broke the cardinal rules of, “No politics or religion in the pub,” as such, he turned to writing. Previously a stand up comedian and an animal crematorium assistant, now works in marketing and is a recently joined member of the Alliance Party.