Alliance South Belfast representative, Allan Leonard, has said that the
rates hike and planned water charges will have a devastating effect on
the South Belfast economy. He said that the large decrease in people’s
disposable income, due to these charges, would hit local business very
Leonard stated: “These disgracefully large rates increases along with
the tap tax will deal a devastating blow to the South Belfast economy.
Because of these unfair charges, people here will have much less
disposable income to spend in local businesses.
“At a time when hundreds of jobs are being shed in the manufacturing
industry, the government can ill afford to levy such punitive charges
against the public, as this will further destroy our economy.
“Not even the richest parts of London are seeing the type of rates
bills that many people in Northern Ireland are forced to pay. We are
not opposed to Northern Ireland paying its way. We merely want to see a
fair rates system here.
Allan Leonard concluded: “The government must get real and recognise
that these ridiculous and unjustifiable charges will do nothing but
damage the economy of Northern Ireland.”