Northern Ireland Fair Rates Campaign

Below is a link to a rates calculator, a house price calculator and the estimates for the proposed water charges, all of which you can use to check what your rates may be for 2007, and more importantly use to to see what your rates and water MAY be when the next valuation takes place in 3 years' time.

Please be aware that property values have risen exponentially (see Quarterly House Price Reports for Northern Ireland) and that the January 2005 valuations used by the Valuation & Lands Agency (VLA) for the estimated bills sent out during July are already likely to have increased significantly, in some cases by nearly 100% – and it is these increases which will impact on the bills you will receive after the next valuation exercise in 2010, as the increased property values will form the basis for both your rates and water bills.

This is the fundamental principle of a Capital Value System – if your property value rises, then so can any bills based on that value. Unfortunately salaries and pensions do not rise at the same rate – indeed it is reported that wages in Northern Ireland are on average 19% below the GB average, and that basic food and fuel costs are significantly higher.

The multiplier (% in each £ of your property value) which the VLA will use is anybody's guess, as the Government has increased the Regional Rate significantly above inflation over the last few years (e.g. 19% in 2006/07 and another 6% for 2007/08), so all householders in Northern Ireland, whether homeowners or renting from a private landlord are at the mercy of an unaccountable body of Ministers and civil servants. Meanwhile the District Rate, agreed by local councils could also rise.

As it is not unreasonable to assume that the VLA will use the next valuation exercise in 2010 as a basis for your future rates and water bills, (and please remember that the multiplier they use will vary from year to year), these links will be able to provide you with a rough guide for what may be the future for householders throughout Northern Ireland.

 Rates Calculator

 Nationwide House Price Calculator

 Estimated Water Charges

Please remember, that although the Northern Ireland ratepayers have been paying for water services as part of their rates for many years*, it is proposed that from April 2007 there will be additional bills for these as well. For further information please see the Water Reform website.

*The Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland has confirmed that between 1991 and 1998 up to £1bn was collected in the Regional Rate towards the costs of Water and Sewerage Services, but that this ratepayers' money was not used on the necessary investment in infrastructure improvement.


"For every family, the extra bill for the 'reforms' being forced through by direct rule ministers will be between £600 and £2,000, due to hikes in rates and the imposition of water charges. It's not just your vote that is being cheapened and then dismissed.

Already, one in four households is living in poverty, our average wages are 20pc below the UK average, 47pc of school-leavers have no qualifications and a quarter of all adults are functionally illiterate. Where are the reforms needed to tackle these issues?"

Peter Bunting,
Assistant General Secretary NI Committee ICTU