85% rates rise in seven years

The normalisation of politics arrives at last, with a big fat rates rise of 19%, delivered courtesy of Peter Hain. Jeff Rooker explained that it came with a rise in certain expenditures:

“We have announced a substantial investment strategy for Northern Ireland, we have launched new funds for Children and Young People, Skills and Science, and Environment and Renewable Energy and we have just announced increased funding for new drugs used in the treatment of cancer. All these are worthy and need to be properly funded. At the same time we have ensured that those households on low incomes are protected and almost 175,000 households receive help with their rates and 20% of all households do not have to pay any rates at all.”


  • mnob

    Welcome to the tax and spend policies of new labour ….

  • Crataegus

    A load of nonsense.

    What has, “new funds for Children and Young People, Skills and Science, and Environment and Renewable Energy and we have just announced increased funding for new drugs used in the treatment of cancer” got to do with rates.

    Oh for a change of government.

  • seabhac siulach

    “Oh for a change of government.”

    Oh, for a government…in Stormont!

  • Bog warrior


    have to agree with you. I can’t see that the rates will be contributing to any of the revenue streams mentioned by the boul Rooker. If we see a 19% increase in rates will be see a corresponding increase in efficiency in our local government?

  • Crataegus

    Bog Warrior

    “will be see a corresponding increase in efficiency in our local government”?

    Dream on!

    But seriously in my experience many of the tasks preformed by local government are efficiently preformed. I find the problems really kick in when you are dealing with Government rather than Council Departments.

    Consider rubbish collection, it happens dependably, leisure centres open, Building Control is generally excellent and the grass is cut in our Parks.

    Then look at government departments; Planning Service makes policy by Ministerial decree, what is our transport policy, our housing policy, our approach to economic regeneration or agriculture? Does Education policy or Health policy seem forward looking, well thought out and coherent?

    Bit rough to blame our Civil Servants, I blame the politicians who should be in charge. The cost to us is not just the money we are paying in salaries and expenses for people who are not doing what they were elected to do, but the resultant costs in a Civil Service that lacks clear direction and control. As for Hain and the other blow ins I really resent having people run the place that are in no way accountable to any of us living here.

  • Like I said on another thread……

    They don’t have to threaten.

  • Animus

    I nearly choked when I opened the rates bill. If only it had risen by only £50. The money for Children and Young People, etc, was largely decided from the budget published in December. Part of the reason our rates rose so sharply is because we aren’t paying for water this year. So I expect we’ll be paying through the nose next year as I’m sure rates will not decrease.

  • fair_deal

    The R&R package negotated by the UUP and SDLP starts to bite.

  • English

    Good – it’s about time Nothern Ireland payed it’s way, and any future (but unlikely) Conservative Government would also support this move towards normalization in local Government taxation.

  • Pete Baker

    Well that’s an interesting theory, English.. but it also applies, ultimately, to Wales and Scotland.

    Neither of those regions would contemplate it without following through with full devolution of all powers to their Assemblies. Which would, in effect, reduce the House of Commons to an English Assembly. Not convinced the majority of MPs would vote in favour of that though.. although it may not be a bad idea in itself.

    Of course that would also mean that the House of Lords would, by default if not by necessity, become the primary legislative body in Parliament.. and, as a result, the demand for a fully elected second chamber would become even more urgent.

    Now there’s a conspiracy theory!

  • “but it also applies, ultimately, to Wales and Scotland.”

    You’re a lovely man Pedro. You do know, however, in your heart of hearts that HMG has always treated Northern Ireland as a special case. They can do whatever they please in the province because the English, the Scots and the Welsh don’t give a damn about NI either unless downtown London gets blown to hell.

    I’ve got a cool idea. Copy or use our constitution to enforce some kind of uniformity. It’s available: We sure as hell aren’t using it now.

  • Crataegus


    “normalization in local Government taxation”

    You miss the point what many of us are actually complaining about is lack of normalisation and a lack of transparency and honesty. If bills have to be fine but what we want to know is exactly what bill pays for what service!!! In addition many see the future water charges as the first step in privatisation.

    I personally am absolutely fed up financing British wars in places like Iraq, the British arms industry and such sweet little expenditures as the nuclear clean up, the funding of the many of the public projects in cities like London. Oh and by the way some of my tax went into paying for upgrading the Water Service in England before it was privatised.