DUP candidates’ low rates pledge

Diane Dodds
Diane Dodds

DUP candidates in the local government elections have pledged to keep council rates as low as possible.

Candidates have also pledged to “promote and defend the symbols of the Union”, with backing for year-round Union Flag flying.

The party’s manifesto highlights that Northern Ireland has the lowest household rates in the UK —an average bill of £813 here as opposed to £1,322 in Scotland, £1,433 in England and £1,633 in Wales.

The manifesto also commits the DUP to continuing to press for the creation of “special economic planning zones”, something which would allow OFMDFM to designate areas where planning rules would be relaxed. The party said that the measure — which rival parties denounced as a “power-grab” — would “help attract new developments and create employment opportunities”.