Northern Ireland Fair Rates Campaign
Press Release
26th September 2006

Fair Rates Campaign Challenges Minister on Figures

The Northern Ireland Fair Rates Campaign has called into question the Minister’s statistics on the draft rates legislation.

The Minister, David Hanson, has publicly claimed on a number of occasions that if capping were introduced into Northern Ireland only 2700 households would benefit.

The Fair Rates Campaign, using information obtained from the Valuation and Lands Agency, disputes these figures.

The Campaign announced today that in England the highest band is £320,000 and above. If this were applied to Northern Ireland 11,324 households would benefit, over four times more than what the Minister claims.

Using a banding system similar to Wales, where the highest band is £424,001 and above 4,569 households would benefit. And using £500,000 as the highest band, which currently does not apply anywhere, 2,344 households in Northern Ireland would benefit.

Anne Monaghan, Independent Chair of the Campaign, said today, ‘We have always queried the figures provided by the Minister. It is clear now that he is working on a higher maximum band in and around £500,000. No other part of the UK has a cap set at such a high level. If the cap currently used in England were applied in Northern Ireland over 11,000 households would benefit at the maximum level’.

‘We are now more than ever convinced that we are the guinea pigs of the UK. The Minister is quoting figures based on a system which does not exist anywhere in the UK. We reiterate that this legislation is flawed and now call into question the whole system of rating based on single capital values.’

Notes to the Editor
The following table shows how many households would benefit under a banding system if applied in Northern Ireland. Please note this is based on the total number of households, i.e. 702,629 (Information from the Valuation and Lands Agency).

  Minimum Value
of Property
Maximum Value
of Property
Households Benefiting
1. £0 £50,000 55,960
2. £50,000 £100,000 32,9000
3. £101,000 £150,000 180,851
4. £151,000 £200,000 78,867
5. £201,000 £250,000 31,465
6. £251,000 £300,000 12,537
7. £301,000 £350,000 5,576
8. £351,000 £400,000 3,030
9. £401,000 £450,000 1,784
10.   £450,000 plus 3,559

Meanwhile in the rest of the UK...

"A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said ministers have used capping powers to protect people from excessive rises". see BBC report on Council Taxes

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