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Rise in domestic rates is approved across Northern Ireland

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The DUP's Brian Kingston said the largely static 2020 rate was down to continued efficiencies and major capital investment

The DUP's Brian Kingston said the largely static 2020 rate was down to continued efficiencies and major capital investment

The DUP's Brian Kingston said the largely static 2020 rate was down to continued efficiencies and major capital investment

All 11 Northern Ireland councils have voted to increase domestic rates this year.

The biggest increase by far was Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council which set the rate at 7.65%, up from a 1.5% increase last year.

A council statement said debts of £71.1m (as of March 2019) mean those with properties valued at £200,000 will pay an extra £55 a year, or £1.07 a week.

Planned savings of £2.5m for this year mean cutting funding of £240,000 for the Portrush air show, causing the organisers to cancel the event.

The popular tourist destination Waterworld will also be closed to save an estimated £80,000.

Moving to a monthly black bin collection, saving around £400,000 annually, and increasing car parking charges has also been suggested.

Ards and North Down doubled their rates increase at 5.64%, up from 2.9% last year.

With the council dealing with debts of around £80m, the "higher than usual" rate will mean an extra cost of around £26.28 per year for average households, or £2.19 per month.

The council said the repayment of loans to fund capital investment and strengthening the reserve fund for the "uncertain financial climate" were key issues.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council set a rate of 3.98%, up from 2.29% last year and the largest increase in six years.

This would mean a yearly increase of £18.15 a year for houses valued at £150,000.

Sinn Fein councillor Ryan Carlin said the council was preparing for "challenging economic circumstances" caused by Brexit.

Derry City and Strabane District Council set a "realistic" rate of 3.37%, up from 3.46%.

This means an average increase of £15.80 per year.

With average property valuations being lower than other council areas, however, ratepayers will pay a lower rate than in other council areas.

Mid Ulster District Council set a "challenging" rate of 3.24%, a larger increase than 1.49% last year, costing £13.19 extra a year on average.

A council statement said £750,000 in savings was found to offset £1.6m in financial pressures.

An anticipated decrease of around £700,000 in the central government rate support grant was also cited.

Council chair, the SDLP's Martin Kearney, said Mid Ulster had the lowest cost of services at £20 per head.

In addition, the council has the lowest debt at £6.7m and the third-lowest domestic rate.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council also set "a realistic rate" of 2.85%, up from 1.99% last year.

This equates to an average increase of £11.10 per year.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council set the rate at 2.79%, compared to 2.3% last year.

This equates to an extra £11.44 for average households.

Reduced central government funding, inflation and increases in the cost of waste management were all raised as increase expenses.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council set a rate of 2.48%, compared to 1.96% last year.

Average households can be expected to pay an extra £11.77 for the year, or 25p per week.

This will go towards the delivery of £105m in capital investment projects, as well as absorbing the costs of inflation and the expected fall in the Rates Support Grant.

Belfast City Council set the rate at 1.99%, similar to last year's 1.98% increase.

This equates to an average yearly increase of £7.61, or 62p extra per month.

The DUP's Brian Kingston said the largely static 2020 rate was down to continued efficiencies and major capital investment. This includes a £105m "leisure transformation programme" and £50m invested in community projects across Belfast.

The Belfast Region City Deal, he said, will see the UK Government invest £350m in the city over 15 years, to be matched by the NI Executive as agreed in last month's Stormont deal.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council set the rate at 1.99%, up from last year's rise of 0.99%.

This equates to an extra £7.80 a year, or 15p per week.

The council note the rise is lower than the rate of inflation (2.2% as of December), and comes with increased costs of £1.5m due to salary (£560,000), energy (£140,000) and waste disposal (£800,000).

Changes in waste collection also aim to save £500,000.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has increased rates by 1.74%, lower than last year's rise of 1.98%, with average households paying £8.32 more a year.

How the rates have risen in each council

  • Causeway Coast and Glens - 7.65% rise, up from 1.5% rise last year.
  • Ards and North Down - 5.64%, up from 2.9%
  • Lisburn and Castlereagh - 3.98%, up from 2.29%
  • Derry and Strabane - 3.37% rise, up from 3.46%
  • Mid Ulster - 3.24%, up from 1.49%
  • Newry, Mourne and Down - 2.85%, up from 1.99%
  • Fermanagh and Omagh - 2.79%, up from 2.3%
  • Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon - 2.48%, up from 1.96%
  • Belfast City Council - 1.99%, up from 1.98%
  • Antrim and Newtownabbey - 1.99%, up from 0.99%
  • Mid and East Antrim - 1.74% rise, compared to 1.98% rise last year.

Belfast Telegraph