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31 March, 2020 Open access

Northern Ireland Government announces domestic rates freeze to assist households during coronavirus outbreak

Measure forms part of support for businesses and individuals in the Executive’s 2020/2021 Budget to recognise the impact of COVID-19

Northern Ireland’s Finance Secretary has announced that domestic rates will be frozen in 2020/2021 to assist households during the coronavirus outbreak.

Delivering the Executive’s 2020/2021 Budget Statement to the Northern Ireland Assembly today, Finance Secretary Conor Murphy highlighted that its development began before the onset of COVID-19 and has been overshadowed by the ‘unprecedented’ public health crisis. Noting that the 2020/2021 Budget includes £100 million of COVID-19 funding provided on 16 March 2020, to be allocated to fund a three-month rates holiday for all businesses, Mr Murphy advised that a further £812 million COVID-19 funding will be allocated in a separate process.

In addition, Mr Murphy announced that household rates bills will be delayed until the last possible moment in the coming year, with the first bills to be issued in June, and that -

'To ensure no additional burden on households during the difficult and uncertain time I am freezing domestic rates.

NB - Departmental allocations are set out at the end of the Budget Statement, and Mr Murphy advises that Ministers will now look to allocate their budget across individual spending areas.

For more information see Murphy outlines Executive’s Budget from