Belfast City Council has agreed an increase in the district rate of more than 5%. Tina Black, chair of the council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said the 5.44% increase for residents would “support our council workers with fair pay and also invest in improvements which will make a real difference to citizens”. The council said the rates rise means an average weekly increase of 35p for a terraced property, 53p for a three-bedroom semi-detached property, £1.18 for a four-bedroom detached property, 34p for an apartment, £8.94 for an office property and £7.32 for a retail property.
Ms Black said: “While it has not been possible to avoid an increase in rates again this year, all parties have worked hard to keep this year’s rise as low as possible. “Like everyone, our council is impacted by the cost-of-living crisis and continued high prices for energy, insurance and other services, but we have delivered significant savings in order to absorb some of those external pressures, while also supporting our own staff who deliver so many key services for our city. “This increase will allow us to support our council workers with fair pay and also invest in improvements which will make a real difference to citizens. These include the expansion of glass recycling provision, funding towards new and improved pitches for sports clubs, crucial community development services and an enhancement of our Christmas events programme to support the retail and hospitality sector.” The Sinn Fein councillor added: “We will also continue to prioritise frontline services like dog wardens, street cleaning and community safety to support local communities, businesses and vulnerable people, while also working to fulfil the potential of our city to become a leader in areas like digital innovation and climate change. “As councillors, we are committed to reducing the financial impact on ratepayers as much as possible – we recognise the pressures many households and businesses face, and will continue to scrutinise council spending and look for new ways to make our services more efficient and financially sustainable.”
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.