to Consultation on Rates (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006
The consultation period allocated by the Minister, Mr Hanson, to the Rates (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 was divisive in that it was:
By their own standards the Government was somewhat economical in framing this time span for the written consultation submission on this Order, as previous consultations during the development of the policy were allowed the full sixteen weeks, as recommended in the Cabinet Office's Code of Practice on Consultation (Criterion 1 paragraph 1.)
Paragraph 3.4 of Criterion 3 of that same code states:
this consultation at this time of year and the truncated period of consultation
were deliberately picked to minimise the public’s response, as well
as to assist the Minister in meeting his deadline in the House of Commons,
for laying the Order before Parliament in early October 2006.
To view the Northern Ireland Fair Rates Campaign’s submission, as well as all other responses received at Rating Policy Division, please click here.
It should be noted that although somewhat belatedy, several of our political parties did respond before the September 15th deadline but only after a lead was given by the ordinary people who launched this protest campaign.
David Hanson, Minister for Finance and Personnel, who said on 13th September, two days before the consultation on the Rates Order closed that there would be 'no change' to the legislation.
Mr Hanson had not yet received nor read the responses from the Fair Rates Campaign and others. The Fair Rates Campaign asks what was the purpose of the consulation? We believe the consultation was a 'ticking the box' exercise for the Minister.