Northern Ireland

NI super councils: 350,000 householders to receive rate subsidy

Simon Hamilton
Image caption Simon Hamilton said the executive had set aside £30m to ease the burden for those who would be affected

Up to 350,000 householders in Northern Ireland are to get a discount on increased rates bills they're facing as a result of moving to the new super councils.

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said the discount would be automatically applied to bills.

He said it would address the increases which were a direct result of the creation of the new larger councils.

The executive has put aside £30m to assist ratepayers.

"Differences have built up in the level of district rates chargeable by the old councils and those that will be chargeable under the new larger councils," Mr Hamilton said.

"As this could result in significant increases for ratepayers in some areas over the next few years, the executive has committed up to £30m to help ratepayers who have been affected.

Image caption Northern Ireland's 26 district councils will be replaced by 11 larger councils

"It will be of most benefit, however, to the 23,000 Lisburn, Castlereagh and North Down ratepayers falling within the new boundary of Belfast City Council, as well as around 30,000 ratepayers in Fermanagh that will be served by the new Fermanagh and Omagh Council.

"Typically, an average domestic ratepayer in these areas will receive a discount of around £40 or £50 off their rate bill this year.

"Castlereagh ratepayers who are moving into Belfast will, on average, get a discount of around £90."

The scheme will apply to domestic and non-domestic ratepayers in certain areas and the only exceptions are public bodies and social housing landlords where the rates are already standardised.

Northern Ireland's 26 district councils will be replaced by 11 larger councils later year.

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