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June 15, 2006

Comments

DST

It was better in the old days when you got votes for each bit of property you owned. That was fairer - at least people with a stake in the city got a louder voice.

[RUNS FOR COVER]

Hugh Green

Pardon my ignorance, but what do rates in Northern Ireland cover anyway? I don't believe there is such a thing down south. Do they cover council receptions for visits from French exchange students?

Anyway, if there is, I don't pay them. Bin collection is paid for in the form of tags which you buy along with your scratchcards, and water is free. Say - that gives me a good idea for a business, once water charging gets introduced in da Nart.

Bury our hospital waste in your back garden and we'll give you a big bucket full of water to wash the childer.

Jo

Rates in NI are intended to represent a regional contribution to local services, such as policing, health eucation, etc.

In NI we pay substantially less than in England/Wales/Scotland. The increase in rates is based on the belief that citizens of the UK should all contribute as equally as possible. This is the impact of equal citizenship.

We do not pay directly for our water/sewerage services, which are privatised in England/Wales and provided by a statutory corporation in Scotland - Scottish Water.

The capital value of a property is seen as a proxy for ability to pay and will be the basis, not only of the new rates from next April, but also the water charge, also due to be phased in from next April.

All in all, the owner of a £250000 property will probably pay £2200 in rates/water charges (when latter fully phased in.)

There will be assistance for those currently receiving rates relief as well as for elderly people living in high-value properties.

Jo

Hugh

Rates in RoI were abolished in 1977 and the cost of local authority services provided has since been financed from direct taxation.

David Vance

It's called squeeze the middle classes.

An old lady, living on her own in a large detached house, could be faced with a 3k rates bill. It is iniquitous, unfair and a disgrace. Only a liberal wants to pay more money to Government.

Madradin Ruad

An old lady, living on her own in a large detached house, could be faced with a 3k rates bill.

we are back into poll tax country.

Jo

The old lady in question, David, would be prioritised for meter installation so that her consumption would at least relate to her water bill. The same cannot be said for the rest of us.

The main problem is that billing for water on the value of your home provides exactly zero incentive to conserve water. This is possibly in breach of EU Directives and is certainly not "green" in the "nice" sense of that word. All the regional taxation is supposed to leave 60% of NI population no worse off. I wish I knew who these people were...

DST

I can't help thinking that these lonely old ladies rumbling about in their empty mansions should probably sell them and move somewhere more suitably sized if the rates bill is such a problem.

The house could then be sold to a family - or divided into flats - which sound like a much better idea in a society with a shortage of places to live.

Jo

Higher rates bills could indeed mean that scuh decisions to sell are precipitated, causing an excess of supply over demand...burst bubble?

DST

I would *heart* to see the bubble burst.

Then savings could go towards investments that actually produce something.

Not that I could see a few old indigent dears selling off their mansions resulting in a burst bubble.

David Vance

Look, we're being robbed BLIND by Government and you all find reasons to think it a good idea...ARRRRGHHH! ;-)

ernest young

DST,

I can't help thinking that these lonely old ladies rumbling about in their empty mansions should probably sell them and move somewhere more suitably sized if the rates bill is such a problem

And just what is your idea of a 'mansion' - a 3 bed, 1 bath box?

Too big for an elderly person?, maybe by socilist standards, but not so big if any relatives come to stay.

Anyway, why should a person, young or old be forced to sell to pay an unjust impost? Having worked a lifetime to aquire a property, we are then expected to work 'til death' to pay the tax on it - somehow, the very idea seems to diminish the concept of incentive, and self-betterment...

And if you are lucky enough to have anything left at the end of life, they have plans to relieve your heirs of that as well!

Jo

It is patently unfair that the elderly should be placed in a position where their family home becomes a burden to them and that they should be obliged to move at precisely the time when they would want to enjoy their surroundings and home that they have worked a lifetime to build and maintain.

To rub ones hands with glee at the thought of such people being preyed upon by the slimy misnamed "developer" makes my skin crawl.

Garfield

Northern Ireland isn't paying its way and this is going to change.
Why should the English taxpayer continuing funding the Gold Coast. The people of Northern Ireland have been living off the backs of the EU and the British taxpayer for too long. About time they got a wake up call.

P.S. Those in big houses can always move into smaller ones.

Jo

There is a school of thought that it is indeed payback time for the security cover provided, 1969-2006.

Or not provided, as the case may be.

Instead of a peace dividend, tax the pensioners. Not all of whom incidentally, live on the Gold Coast.

jaun

this is unrelated but as this is the northern ireland post i thought i'd stick it in here,
for your edification, here is a story to put Sinn Feins recent anti secterian crusade (instigated for a catholic victim only) and their resultant attempt to gain political capital by reinforcing secterian sterotypes into perspective, given the manner in which Sinn Fein characterised the secterianism problem in Ballymena and the methods they proposed for dealing with it, please consider this glimpse into the reality of the situation and ask yourself if sinn fein are honestly trying to deal with the problem, or exploit it for their party political (and beyond..) ends....

http://www.ballymenanews.com/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=2574&ArticleID=1565843

Jo,

the thought of such people being preyed upon by the slimy misnamed "developer

or by,

"the thought of such people being preyed upon by the slimy misnamed 'Local Authority'

equally appalling...

Frank O'Dwyer

WHY should the amount of rates I pay be in any way linked to the value of the house I live in? What is the logic to this?

Assuming the likes of policing and fire brigade is included, it's the same reason the amount of your insurance premium is linked to the value of your house. You get more value from the service so why shouldn't you pay more for it? Why should a bunch of people living in shoeboxes club together to pay to protect the value of your house?

David Vance

"Assuming the likes of policing and fire brigade is included.."

It's not here in NI. NEXT question.

Madradin Ruad

Poll tax. It makes sense.

aileen

By this logic, what I pay for my cabbage will be linked to the value of my house.

Tom Tyler

Don't worry at all about those privatised water bills, folks. Under EU law it is illegal for the water companies to cut you off if you don't pay. You can just steal it, and get away with it. It's your human right.

willowfield

WHY should the amount of rates I pay be in any way linked to the value of the house I live in?

What is the objection to taxing capital wealth rather than your income? Would you object less to a local income tax?

What is the logic to this? If I do not use Council utilities, why should I pay thousands of pounds more than those who live in smaller houses and who never cease using them?

Well, you do use "council utilities" and, indeed, other government "utilities" that are funded by rates. And the reason you pay more than someone in a smaller house is because taxation is applied proportionately, rather than on a flat rate: each person pays according to his or her wealth, so, for example, the millionaire pays more than the shop assistant; the person in the huge, detached mansion in acres of ground pays more than the person in the two-up/two-down on a godforsaken housing estate.

Where is the PROTEST at this Rating tyranny from our political class? We do NOT require an Assembly to make it absolutely clear that Northern Ireland rate-payers will REFUSE to pay this draconian hike in Rates.

This is about how rates are apportioned, not the amount of rates paid.

We actually pay less in rates than the actual cost of the services because the regional rate element results in some confusion as to how costs are attributed. We've been underpaying for years. People in GB pay far, far more. When the new councils are put in place, I hope it should become clearer what the actual costs are, and the setting of the rates will become more transparent and accountable.

willowfield

I'll ask David again:

What is the objection to taxing capital wealth rather than your income? Would you object less to a local income tax?

willowfield

Well?

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