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Another incredible windfall for the MOD taken from local budgets

17 October, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney has stated that it is outrageous that the British Ministry of Defence are to receive yet more money from local budgets as part of a rates rebate. Speaking after Derry City Council has been ordered to pay over £76,000 to the MOD Mr McCartney said.

"This financial mess which sees local budgets being decimated in order to provide a rates rebate to the British MOD is not of local councils making. The Land and Property Service, which falls under the Department of Finance and Personnel has made a series of mistakes in calculations which have affected other organisations, such as local councils, budgets significantly.

"Earlier this week Limavady Council were ordered to pay almost £400,000 in a rebate to the MOD severely depleting their budget.

"The question is now how many local councils are going to be forced to fork out excessive amounts of money to the MOD in rates rebates.

"Nigel Dodds as Minister of Finance needs to come out clearly and say what total amount the MOD are set to receive in terms of rebates will be from all the local authorities and the Assembly.

"At a time when the North's budget is being scrutinised for savings and there a massive pressures on essential services and local households to make ends meet, such an amount of money being granted to the MOD is a disgrace. It is local peoples services that will ultimately be affected and have to be reduced as a result of this. " CRÍOCH

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