Northern Ireland councils aim to mitigate rates rise

As councils across NI strike their rates for the coming financial year, a theme has emerged where savings have been made in other areas to prevent ratepayers taking too much of a hit.

By Graeme Cousins
Friday, 11th February 2022, 5:36 pm
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has struck its new annual rate at 3.49%
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has struck its new annual rate at 3.49%

Belfast City Council has agreed a district rate of 2.99% while Lisburn and Castlereagh Council has agreed on 3.64%.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has struck its new annual rate at 3.49%, Mid Ulster District Council have agreed on 3.9% and Derry City and Strabane District Council has settled on 3.44%.

More of Northern Ireland’s 11 councils will meet early next week to strike their rate.

The overall rates which residents pay is based on the district rate set by councils and the regional rate set by the NI Assembly, which has been frozen for the coming year.

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Richard Holmes said: “Despite the challenges faced by the organisation around energy, fuel, insurance and payroll costs, members are committed to making efficiency savings to mitigate the pressures on the ratepayer who we recognise are greatly impacted by rising living costs at this time.

“Council has agreed to realise approximately £2.5m in savings and additional income which has allowed the rate to be held at well below inflationary value which will be significant for our residents.

“We anticipate that our overall rates increase since the council’s inception will remain one of the lowest across Northern Ireland, while we continue to deliver excellent frontline operations and an extensive portfolio of facilities and services for ratepayers.”

Belfast Councillor Aine Groogan said: “For the last seven years, we have managed to keep the rates increase below 2% which has been a significant achievement, and while we are seeing an increase of above that this year, I am pleased we have been able to keep the rise significantly below that of inflation.

“We have worked hard to keep the increase to an absolute minimum, and below the level of inflation, while also delivering on our community plan for the city and prioritising action on climate, digital innovation and investment in council facilities.

“We have also committed to making further efficiency savings where possible in the next financial year.”

Mid Ulster Council agreed to generate almost £1m in savings and additional income in order to offset a rates increase.

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