Jim Barbour condemns Rate Rises - "Post Peace Poverty"

Socialist Party Election News - Assembly 2007

Barbour condemns Rate Rises - "Post Peace Poverty"

Press Release 19/02/07

Jim Barbour slams rate rises that mean that we face the “reality, not of the promised peace dividend but of post peace poverty.”

In response to the latest Department of Finance and Personnel figures on projected rate rises, Socialist Party candidate for South Belfast, Jim Barbour, today slammed the 20% increase for Belfast and the increases for other areas as a burden that would be "impossible to pay for many people."

"These figures give the lie to the Government’s earlier spin that the new rating method would not mean an overall rate rise. In 22 of the 26 District Council areas rates are due to go up, in some cases, as in Belfast are due to go up massively.

"Especially now that house prices are soaring, we now need to get rid of the property based form of local taxation. The current rating system should be replaced with a steeply graduated local income tax that lifts the tax burden from the poorest sections of society and means that the very wealthiest – in terms of income, not just their house valuation – pay the lions share."

"Not too long ago New Labour promised us a peace dividend. But the introduction of these stealth taxes we have the harsh reality of post peace poverty."

Issued by Jim Barbour 19.02.07

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