Northern Ireland Fair Rates Campaign

Press Release | 27th October 2006

Rates System is Slammed in Lords Committee

The Northern Ireland Fair Rates Campaign has welcomed opposition from the Lords to the new rates system, which was debated in the Grand Committee of the House of Lords on Wednesday.

Speaking in the committee, Conservative and Liberal Democrat Lords criticised the system and commented if the system was revenue neutral then it should be delayed so a local assembly can look again at the whole rating issue.

Lord Glentoran a Conservative peer said the legislation was ‘deeply disturbing in many ways’ and ‘should never have been involved in the St. Andrews process’. Lords Trimble, Laird, Rogan and Baroness Harris of Richmond all raised concerns regarding the system.

The Order will now be debated on the floor of the House of Lords within the next few weeks. The Liberal Democrats have laid a fatal motion to strike the order down, while the Conservatives have laid a non-fatal motion to remit the decision-making powers to the Assembly.

Anne Monaghan, Chairperson of the Fair Rates Campaign, said ‘From across Northern Ireland to across the political spectrum there is opposition to this legislation. Now the House of Lords has added its voice in opposition to a law which disadvantages pensioners, the asset rich but cash poor, single person households and those just outside the benefit system.

‘The Minister still refuses to listen to the people and to all the parties in Northern Ireland who have asked for a delay of one year in introducing the system. If it is really revenue neutral then we cannot understand his refusal to allow Northern Ireland people and parties to determine this system for them-selves’.


Notes: See Hansard report on Lords debate, 25th October 2006 for reference.

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