Northern Ireland

Belfast residents facing district rates increase of more than 5%

A rates increase has also been set by Mid Ulster District Council

A special meeting of Belfast City Council will take place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday.
Belfast City Council members have agreed an increase in the district rate for 2024/25.

Belfast City Council has agreed an increase in the district rate of more than 5%.

Sinn Féin councillor Tina Black, chair of the council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said the 5.44% increase for residents would “support our council workers with fair pay and also invest in improvements which will make a real difference to citizens”.

The council said the rates rise means an average weekly increase of 35p for a terraced property, 53p for a three-bedroom semi-detached property, £1.18 for a four-bedroom detached property, 34p for an apartment, £8.94 for an office property and £7.32 for a retail property.

Tina Black said it had not been possible to avoid a rates increase
Sinn Féin Councillor Tina Black. (Sinn Fein/PA)

Ms Black said: “While it has not been possible to avoid an increase in rates again this year, all parties have worked hard to keep this year’s rise as low as possible.

“Like everyone, our council is impacted by the cost-of-living crisis and continued high prices for energy, insurance and other services, but we have delivered significant savings in order to absorb some of those external pressures, while also supporting our own staff who deliver so many key services for our city.

“This increase will allow us to support our council workers with fair pay and also invest in improvements which will make a real difference to citizens. These include the expansion of glass recycling provision, funding towards new and improved pitches for sports clubs, crucial community development services and an enhancement of our Christmas events programme to support the retail and hospitality sector.”

Ms Black added: “We will also continue to prioritise frontline services like dog wardens, street cleaning and community safety to support local communities, businesses and vulnerable people, while also working to fulfil the potential of our city to become a leader in areas like digital innovation and climate change.”

Meanwhile, Mid Ulster District Council has increased its rate by 5.9% for domestic customers, with the non-domestic rate increase set at 5.9%.

The decision, made at a special meeting of the council on Monday, means that an average domestic ratepayer will pay an additional 53p per week more for the council portion of their rates bill.

A council spokesperson said: “A proposed mix of savings, efficiencies, and increased income generation has been identified to offset the additional costs and minimise the impact on ratepayers.”