Hamilton announces easier and improved ways to pay rate bills

Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA today announced easier and improved ways to pay your rate bill this year.

Department of Finance and Personnel’s Land & Property Services issues rate bills and collects monies on behalf of the NI Executive and local councils through a range of payment methods, including Direct Debit, online, standing order, telephone, cheque and by using the ‘Rates QuickPay Card’.

Speaking about the improved options available to ratepayers for paying their rate bill, the Minister said: “In recognising the need to offer ratepayers easier and more convenient ways to pay their rate bill, my Department has put in place a number of improved payment options which are available from April 2015.

“The easiest and most convenient method is by Direct Debit. Around 55% of ratepayers currently avail of this service, which enables the cost of the rate bill to be spread over a 10 month period and helps to ease any financial pressure.”

There is a choice of three collection dates for Direct Debit – 7th, 15th or 28th of each month.

Highlighting the wide range of other payment methods available to customers Simon Hamilton said: “Significant improvements have been made to online payment, which is simpler, quicker and there is now no transaction fee when paying by credit card. Ratepayers can also continue to pay with the Rates QuickPay Card, which is accepted in any Post Office and, from this year, the Card can be used at PayPoint outlets across Northern Ireland, including garages, newsagents and convenience stores.”

The Minister added: “I am committed to delivering high quality and efficient public services in spite of the dual pressures of reduced public spending and the growing demand for our public services. I want to reform our public services and offering easier and more accessible ways to pay rate bills is an important step along the road to reform.”

If ratepayers require any assistance in paying their rate bill they can speak to LPS staff in person by visiting one of the LPS Customer Information Centres at Lanyon Plaza, Belfast; Academy House, Ballymena; Boaz House, Omagh, and Marlborough House, Craigavon, or at Orchard House, Londonderry.

For domestic ratepayers who pay their bill in full, a discount of 4% is available if LPS receives payment on or before the discount date of 1 May 2015.

Further information and guidance on rates is available at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/rates or for non-domestic customers, at http://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/rates.