Belfast Telegraph

Councillor slams SF and DUP in Derry rates increase row

By Donna Deeney

A row has broken out after residents in the Derry City and Strabane Council area were told they face a near 3% rates hike.

The increase will net the council between £20m and £25m for capital projects and help cover the loss of over £280,000 which the council was to receive this year from Stormont.

Council chief executive John Kelpie described the budget cuts from central government as "disappointing".

SDLP councillor Martin Reilly said it was shameful that neither the DUP or Sinn Fein backed his proposal to not accept the cut to the Rates Support Grant from Stormont.

Mr Reilly said it was "a missed opportunity by other political parties to protect ratepayers" who now have to pick up the tab for the failure at Stormont.

Sinn Fein councillor Brian McMahon said that his party were trying to balance "external financial pressures with the opportunity for inward investment potential".

DUP councillor David Ramsey said backing Mr Reilly's proposal would have achieved nothing.

Belfast Telegraph

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