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Ballymoney
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

‘Inflation busting 10% rates hike coming’ claims Cllr Padraig McShane

‘Who’s afraid of the truth?’ Says independent Councillor Padraig McShane, as he claims an attempt to get rates below 10% is a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ .

The Councillor was speaking ahead of the Striking of the Domestic and Non-Domestic Rate for 2020/21, planned for the full council meeting on February 4th,

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In a statement issued by Cllr McShane, he says:

“A rates hike of just under 10% for 2020/21 is being planned by a number of the big parties in Causeway Coast and Glens.

“Attempts to get the rates to a figure under 10% are continuing in Causeway Coast and Glens. The magic number will then be sold as ‘brilliant work’ by those who vote it into existence. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

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The independent Councillor has also called for an independent audit into the councils finances.

“Those same Councillors will refuse an external forensic independent audit of land easements and sales. They will also refuse an external audit of the current financial position of their books.

“Chambers of Commerce locally are expressing serious concerns across the Borough. The planned rates increase comes on top of the re-evaluation of business rates locally.

“Some business have witnessed increases of between 70% and 100% on their rates due to the re-evaluation. Now councillors are planning to increase that by a further 10%. Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce are openly talking about a rates strike such is the concern for their businesses.

Accusing other Councillors of ‘keeping their heads buried in the sand’ Mr McShane continued:

“Instead of an investigation, Councillors will agree to attack some of the lowest paid members of staff. A plan to take an average of £1,100 per year of Leisure centre workers is already included in savings.

“Councillors believe that by keeping their heads buried in the sand – they can still complain of being kept in the dark!

“The facts are now before them. They just have to look.”

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Councillor McShane concluded and reiterating his call for an investigation;

“Until a independent forensic audit is conducted, it is completely irresponsible to throw ratepayers money into what appears to be an economic black hole.

“Who’s afraid of the truth”.

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