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McLaughlin tables motion to address Penny Product issue.

12 January, 2009

Sinn Féin Economic spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) today tabled an Assembly motion designed to address the problems experienced by local Councils when striking the District Rates.

Mitchel McLaughlin said;

"Many Councils are experiencing difficulties because of the system adopted by Lands and Property Services in calculating the Penny Product as a means of guidance to District Councils in striking the District Rates. Because of the flaws in this system councils often find themselves suffering shortfalls in revenue which has a negative impact on striking the local rates. A number of these problems arise because the calculations are already up to eighteen months out of date when presented.

"The Motion put to the Assembly is designed to remove the anomalies in the present system. What is required is a process whereby Land and Property Services and District Councils in collaboration, produce an accurate registry of rateable properties annually and agree a specific date on which they sign off on the calculation of the Penny Product for the incoming year. Any adjustments identified after that date should be incorporated in the following years calculation.

"I believe that this would address many of the difficulties now being experienced by local Councils and allow for more efficient disbursement of financial resources."

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