“Courts Shouldn’t Be Used Against Those Who Cannot Pay Rates Bills” – Doyle
Aontú Cllr for Ballyarnett, Emmett Doyle has called on Land and Property Services to abandon widespread plans to prosecute those who will not be able to pay rates bills in the coming months.
Speaking today, Cllr Doyle said “Recent news that Land and Property Services are preparing extra court time to prosecute those who are not able to pay their rates bills has caused concern across Ballyarnett, as people are already struggling to make ends meet with the cost-of-living and fuel crisis.”
Cllr Doyle continued “According to figures released to Aontú under FOI, in Derry City and Strabane alone more than 550 people have been taken to court for non-payment since 2017. With the rapidly spiralling cost-of-living, so many people are struggling to keep their households afloat. It’s terrifying that this number could increase significantly because people are simply unable to pay. These people aren’t wealthy property owners, they’re families and workers trying to make ends meet and it's important that we don’t needlessly compound their problems.”
“Aontú is calling on LPS and the Finance Minister to intervene before this process kicks into overdrive. The LPS and the Minister must enter into discussions with ratepayers rather than using the court system to criminalise people already being hammered by economic pressure.” Concluded Cllr Doyle