The Department of Finance has launched a 14-week consultation on a range of rates reliefs and allowances.

The consultation follows a direction from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, directing Northern Ireland departments to launch public consultations on measures to support budget sustainability and raise additional revenue.

The Department is seeking views from those who may be directly affected and from the wider body of ratepayers. There are seven proposals for changes to rate reliefs: four are in the non-domestic sector, and three are in the domestic sector.

The non-domestic rating support schemes which are being consulted on currently benefit over 9,200 ratepayers and include:

  • Non-domestic vacant property relief,
  • Industrial derating,
  • Freight transport relief,
  • The exemption for student halls of residence.

Views are also being sought on the removal of three domestic rates allowances:

  • The 4% early payment discount, which around 160,000 ratepayers take advantage of each year,
  • the maximum capital value cap which applies to almost 8,000 properties valued at more than £400,000,
  • 10% landlords’ allowance of rates on rented property which is paid in full by the 30th of September.

The consultation period runs until 13 February2024. To view the consultation documents and respond visit here.

In addition to the rating relief consultations, the Department of Finance is also seeking views on other aspects of fiscal sustainability including efficiency, prioritisation and transformation or collaborative activities that could be considered alongside revenue raising options.

To respond to the ‘Financial context for revenue raising consultations’ visit here.

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