Rates set to rise by almost 3%

Civic Centre
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Rates are set to rise by almost three percent across Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

At a special meeting tonight (Tuesday), the council agreed to strike the rate at 2.95 percent. Last year’s rate was struck at 1.98%.

DUP Cllr Mark Baxter gave the news a cautious welcome. He said initially council officers had wanted to hike the rate by 5% but they demanded it be kept under inflation. He blamed large capital spends and the introduction of the living wage as reasons for the rise.

Sinn Fein Cllr Liam Mackle said: “This rise allows council to proceed with plans for capital investment and regeneration and development of the economy across the borough.”

SDLP Cllr Joe Nelson said they had to take into account the wage bill will go up substantially and factor in capital investment. “I think it is reasonable as inflation is at three percent.”