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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Rates and PFI Payments


Ray McAreavey • January 24, 2007

People who read this site will know that rates and the ability to pay them is a subject close to my heart.

I don't mind paying rates, as long as they are fair and reasonable. What I object to is Peter Hain and his fellow Brit Hanson telling me I must pay.

I didn't vote for these clowns, nor did I vote to be taxed out of existence. I hate bullies of all shades and descriptions. We have more than enough of them here in Ulster-The Wee North-The Occupied 6 Counties-Our Wee Province-Hun Statelet (insert your favourite phrase) without being bullied by people who would run a mile from any genuine confrontation.

I am one of the founders of the Fair Rates Campaign. We do all the research, we write to the House of Lords/Commons and whoever else we can get onside on this.

Just to let you know, we had a meeting in the Long Gallery at Stormont this morning at 11 o'clock.

We invited all the parties, and people interested in the debate. We presented a 5 point starting plan for their perusal and went through it step by step.

We pointed out that PFI will cost every household 130 pounds per year from 2014/15 when taken with other borrowing. This is the never-never our Grannies warned us about.

This bunch of Ministers raised 126 million quid more than they realised last year when they raised the Regional rate by 19%. When we inquired where this money had gone they told us that it was spent—where, they had no idea.

However, the meeting was very illuminating for a lot of the MLAs who came. They were really taken aback by the amount Belfast City Council overspends. (I must set out an article on this at a later date. It would frighten you.)

Anyhow, the SDLP were there in the shape of Alaistar McDonnell and Carmel Hanna. McDonnell in particular has been working his socks off lately on issues of planning. Esmond Birnie was there for the UUP. Whatever anyone thinks of the Unionists, this guy is a real worker. The leader of Alliance, David Ford, came along also to be briefed.

The head of the Consumer Council, whose name escapes me, was also present and giving their latest findings on the water charges and seeing how this would tie in with rates.

I have bad news for you.

If the present system the Labour ministers favour is allowed to go on, every working family will be crucifed with council tax, never mind the Water Charge.

People in West Belfast who have bought their homes cheaply, or maybe not so cheaply, will find that the revaluation in 2010 will significantly raise the value of their homes. There will be allowances, not specified as yet (and I think they won't be worth 2d), but the big bills will come in 2012.

Just a small example.

An ordinary working man, with a house now valued at £140,000 quid in the West of the city may not think his rates are too bad. That is because the Government through the Rates Division deliberately undervalued houses. His house was probably valued at £60,000 for rating purposes. He thinks he's on the pig's back.

Come 2010, his house will be up towards the £200,000 mark. I kid you not.

By 2012, when all the charges kick in, and the help is withdrawn, his rates will be in the region of £1700/£2000 quid.

This is without water charges.

I feel sick.

Oh, by the way the DUP sent a big hitter. Jeffrey Donaldson isn't big in physical stature, but I'm sure he sees the lie of the land. He was extremely interested in a lot of our points, and raised some searching questions.

A DUP councillor, Robin Newton was also there, very interested in wastage at the City Hall and Belfast City Council.

I can almost hear you ask—"Have you forgotten something?"

No, I haven't.

Sinn Fein did not bother their ass sending even the lowliest observer.

Remember that when they come looking for a vote. Ask ALL the parties when they come looking for a vote what they mean to do on water charges and rates.

Sinn Fein cannot claim to have forgotten the meeting in the Long Gallery. I have been keeping them up to date with the Fair Rates Campaign. The campaign is NOT about rich people. It is about the people who will bear the brunt—the people who work and want to provide a home for themselves and their families.


































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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

28 January 2007

Other Articles From This Issue:

Done & Dusted
Anthony McIntyre

Once Again, The Big Transition
Dolours Price

Plastic Bullet
John Kennedy

Provos Embrace Total Collaboration with British Rule
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

British Policing is Not an Alternative
Francis Mackey

$F Hats
Brian Mór

Policing Problems
Tommy McKearney

SF Seeks to Curtail NI Policing
David Adams

Digging Up the Truth
John Kennedy

State Terrorism Par Excellence
Anthony McIntyre

Collusion: Dirty War Crime
Mick Hall

Repeating the Pattern of the Top Brass
Eamonn McCann

Collusion revelations: disturbing but not shocking
Brendan O'Neill

England's Legacy to Ireland: State Sponsored Terrorism
Richard Wallace

Application for Service in HMPRUC
Brian Mór

The Revolution is the People
Michéal MháDonnáin

Rates and PFI Payments
Ray McAreavey

Reviews of 'Century'
Roy Johnston

A Peacemaker at the Start and the Finish
David Adams

22 January 2007

Only A Fool
Anthony McIntyre

Wake Up & Smell the Coffee
John Kennedy

Killing the Messenger
Martin Galvin

Turning Tide
John Kennedy

Derry Debate
Anthony McIntyre

The Issues That Need Debated
Francis Mackey

The Rule of Whose Law?
Mick Hall

GFA Gestapo
Brian Mór

When in a Hole...
Mick Hall

Don't Be Afraid, Do Not Be Fooled
Dolours Price

Provie Peelers
Brian Mór

No Other Law
32 County Sovereignty Movement

Whither Late Sinn Fein?
Michael Gillespie

The Final Step
John Cronin

Moral Duty
Dr John Coulter

Repatriated Prisoner's Thanks
Aiden Hulme

McDowell Blocks 'Last' Repatriation
Fionnbarra O'Dochartaigh

Óglaigh na hÉireann New Years Message 2007
Óglaigh na hÉireann

A "Must Read" For Those With a Serious Interest
Liam O Ruairc

George Faludy’s Happy Days in Hell
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Reflections on the Late David Ervine
Dr John Coulter

In Memoriam David Ervine
Marcel M. Baumann

Michael Ferguson
Anthony McIntyre

"Bloody Sunday" Commemoration Event
George Cuddy

Just Books Belfast Relaunch & Fundraiser
Just Books



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