No rates shock in store - Cllr. O’Loan

Councillor Declan O'Loan
Councillor Declan O'Loan

Local residents “will hardly notice” the effect that the new Mid & East Antrim Council’s creation will have on their rates, Cr. Declan O’Loan says.

The SDLP Councillor revealed that the levelling out consequences will be very small for domestic ratepayers, especially after the subsidy provided by the NI Executive.

He said “I have now been given access to the Department of Finance guidance on the £30 million convergence fund for ratepayers who will have increases purely because of joining a new Council. This shows that Ballymena and Larne domestic ratepayers will get a discount of the order of £3 to £5 on next year’s rates because otherwise their rates would have risen on account of joining with Carrickfergus. They will hardly notice the increase in the rates.”

He added: “This is not the whole story for potential rates increases. It is a new Council and can set its rates as it wills. However, there is no appetite among councillors to impose a big burden on its residents and I share that view. While the rates process is still ongoing, I see no reason to expect a shock for ratepayers when the rate is struck on 12 February.”