Empty home rates meeting sought

Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has requested to meet with the Finance Minister Conor Murphy to discuss the issue of rating of old empty farm houses under the rating of empty homes legislation.
William Irwin MLAWilliam Irwin MLA
William Irwin MLA

“Given the costs associated with rates bills in these specific circumstances and given the contact I have had with members of the farming community from across Northern Ireland, I feel this is an issue where action is needed from the Department to try and address what really is in my opinion an ‘unintended consequence’ of this legislation,” he said.

“I support the general thrust of the legislation and I understand why it was necessary at the time in terms of ensuring that properties that could be put on the market, be that new build or rentable older properties, that they would be marketed or rates would be payable when empty.

“However, when we look at the instance of a house in a farm yard where there is no real prospect of the house being brought back in use at all, then I do feel strongly that this rates burden should be lifted.”

“Farming families at this time are under enough strain without the added financial strain of another rates bill.”