DUP continue to protect most privileged - Flanagan
Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said that the DUP appear happy to increase tuition fees and to reintroduce prescription charges but are unwilling to remove a cap on domestic rates for people living in properties worth over £400,000.
Mr Flanagan said:
“During question time this week, the Finance Minister Simon Hamilton appeared to champion the benefits of increasing tuition fees and reintroducing prescription charges.
“When I subsequently asked him to outline the benefits of removing the upper limit of £400,000 on domestic rates, he adopted a less enthusiastic approach.
“The DUP appear intent on introducing charges that would disproportionately impact on those less well off in our society, the sick and our student population.
“This cap on rates means that if a domestic property worth in excess of £1million, the rates payable on that property will be applied as if the property were listed at £400,000, a considerable savings.
“The DUP must explain why they are unwilling to remove the ceiling paid by people living in properties valued at over £400,000, which would generate over £4 million in revenue for the Executive and £3 million for our local councils.
“These are the types of progressive taxation changes that we need to implement in order to protect those in greatest need. It is high time that this lucrative loophole be abolished and those with the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest strain financially.”