Paying through the nose for political disengagement?

Newton Emerson argues that the rates cap issue is no pressure on the DUP. He believes the church protests in south Belfast lack any clout. The lack of a cap effects a section of society who, if they vote at all, don’t vote for the DUP. He is also sceptical about whether super councils will deliver any savings for the ratepayer.

  • aquifer

    Ironically, funding of political parties could help reduce rates, by allowing parties to promote professional managers as candidates.

  • Alan

    Interesting, too mind you, that the DUP reps at the City Church meeting left the building early and therefore avoided the meeting’s very forceful demand that MLA’s return to Stormont and maker the Assembly work.

  • Butterknife

    The ironic thing is if the Agreement had not of worked so well house prices would not be so high ergo rates etc. The MLAs may be the problem but remember that in the last Assembly (sic) they voted themselves a comfortable pension so the hardest hit will be the back room staff (or the people who actually do the leg work).

  • Christopher Stalford

    Alan

    I had another constituency meeting to attend. My other 2 colleagues Councillor Patterson and Councillor Kirkpatrick were at the meeting till the end.

    As for Emerson’s article. A party doesn’t win 9 Westminster seats and elected 180 odd councillors without significant middle class support. DUP voters will be hit just as hard as everyone else by Hain’s disgraceful rating scheme.

  • Little Eva

    “As for Emerson’s article. A party doesn’t win 9 Westminster seats and elected 180 odd councillors without significant middle class support”.

    This is the nub of it. When are people going to realise that the DUP are now in the unionist driving seat precisely because they have managed to attract a large section of the middle class vote that traditionally snubbed them. Do the maths for goodness sake.

  • unionist

    “DUP voters will be hit just as hard as everyone else by Hain’s disgraceful rating scheme.”

    Maybe Christopher you could let us know what the DUP’s alternative is

  • Christopher Stalford

    Alex

    I suggest you look at our submission to the consultation on the Order in Council.

  • inuit_goddess

    Any rates cap will basically be a gift from society as a whole to the wealthiest 5% or so of property owners – just so they can avoid paying their share.

    All the parties should think long and hard before supporting such a regressive and unfair measure as a rates cap – why should a hard working family just starting out on the property ladder have to pay extra in rates just to subsidise the top 5%?

    Bob McCartney doesn’t have to win votes outside North Down and the leafy lanes but the other parties do and should think carefully before raising rates bills for 95% of us in order to reduce them for the top 5%.

  • unionist

    Not alex, didn’t realise that someone else was using that tag so will change mine.

    So is that the answer the DUP give on the doorstep

    “I suggest you look at our submission to the consultation on the Order in Council.”

    real vote winner that one

  • Reader

    inuit_goddess: pay extra in rates just to subsidise the top 5%
    Isn’t it more accurately the other way round? Unless you think that the 5% get issued with gold plated bins…

  • inuit_goddess

    No, rates are payment for govt services and should operate on the same basis as income tax – i.e. people pay their fair share according to their income/wealth – in the case of rates a fixed percentage.

    A rates cap would result in owners of averagely valued properties – the lower middle class basically – subsidising the owners of high value properties.

    To my mind this is most unfair, I’m not anti-rich but they must pay their share. The one thing almost all parties here agree on is the need for a more cohesive society.

    We’re not going to get that by tilting the taxation pitch against those with modest property and income.

  • Reader

    inuit_goddess: No, rates are payment for govt services and should operate on the same basis as income tax – i.e. people pay their fair share according to their income/wealth – in the case of rates a fixed percentage.
    A rates cap would result in owners of averagely valued properties – the lower middle class basically – subsidising the owners of high value properties.

    Firstly, I am sure the rates equation is not based on a fixed percentage, as you assume. Nor have you explained why either the proposed rates equation or a fixed percentage looks like the “fair share” I’m sure we all desire.
    Also, I am sure you are misusing the word ‘subsidising’ – the people who pay higher rates clearly get far less value for money, and that would still be true even if rates were capped. In any case, neither the existing proposals, nor the capped proposals, are related to the ‘disposable income’ nor ‘ability to pay’ – which might be what you actually meant by ‘fair share’
    For the record, I am not going to be in the top 5%, and I am in favour of a system based on local income tax.