Belfast Telegraph

Monday 5 October 2015

Be wary of Tory leadership

Published 19/12/2006

Lord Glentoran claims that Conservative backing for Lord Trimble's motion would not have prevented the introduction of water charging (Writeback, December 15). This is incorrect

In regard to the rates order, Lord Smith (Liberal Democrats) had laid a fatal motion in the House of Lords which would have effectively defeated the legislation.

Many Tories who were there, including Lord Mawhinney and Lord Mayhew, voted to defeat this legislation; Lord Glentoran did not.

In fact, his motion, which did introduce a cap of £500,000, has the effect of only benefiting less than 2,500 households. Is Lord Glentoran one of these?

The consumer council and the fair rates campaign have learned over the past number of weeks that the Tory leadership cannot be trusted; it has already been proven that the Labour Government cannot be trusted either.

As Lord Smith said in Westminster during the rates debate: "My Lords, I recognise a pincer movement when I see one in this new, unholy alliance between the two Front Benches."

He then went on to say: "If the noble Lord, Lord Glentoran, is gullible enough to believe that the state will be so magnanimous when it comes to incorporate his suggestions, he may well find himself disabused."

Lord Glentoran's attempt in the Telegraph to defend himself does not hold water (no pun intended).

As households here already pay for water through their existing rates bill, it is time for our politicians to get into government and defer both the rates and water orders.

The fair rates campaign will be giving evidence to the Assembly this Wednesday and we will take that opportunity to state the case of ratepayers to our politicians.

Raymond Farley Northern Ireland Fair Rates Campaign

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