[Sinn Fein]

18 December 2000

Rates are a blunt instrument for raising taxes

Sinn Fein Mid-Ulster MLA Francie Molloy, Chairperson of the Finance & Personnel committee has said that rates are a blunt instrument for raising taxes.

Speaking today Mr Molloy said:

``Using regional rates to raise finance for the Executive disguises the reality that rates are a blunt instrument for raising taxes. An above inflation increase in our regional rates will hit the poorest households and struggling small retailers and our rural communities.

``The reality is that rather than tinker around the edges we should be developing a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the flawed and unfair Barnett formula that is used to work out our Block grant allocation.

``We should be asking the Irish government to spread the Celtic Tiger and we need to putting pressure on the British government not just on the Barnett formula but also on a peace dividend. The peace process has now been in place for a number of years yet we are still waiting for the money sucked up by the British war machine to be re- deployed.''

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