Public purse losing out whilst hedge funds benefit from student accomodation

DUP MLA Diane Forsythe has said the public purse is losing out whilst hedge funds are benefitting from thousands of rooms of student accommodation recently built in Northern Ireland.

By Diane Forsythe MLA

South Down

View Profile

The South Down MLA is Deputy Chair of the Assembly’s Finance Committee and she said, “Everyone understands the pressures on public finances, and whilst rates from student accommodation will not solve these problems, it isn’t sustainable to have working families paying rates whilst hedge funds building student accommodation are exempt.

Whilst people may have understood the argument for traditional halls of residence to be exempt from rates, the argument has significantly shifted with the construction of many private blocks in recent years. There are now at least 5,000 rooms in these private blocks now within Belfast.

I had asked the Finance Minister to detail the rates deemed exempt from such properties and she has indicated that it is more than £2million per year. This is an area I will continue to pursue with the Minister and I believe it is important that this source of revenue is not ignored. There may be a need for parallel action to ensure that those operating this accommodation don’t simply pass on the additional costs to students and their families. This is an area where action could be taken relatively quickly I and I hope the Minister will take this forward at the earliest opportunity.”

Become a Supporter

  • ${ error }
  • ${ error }
  • ${ error }

We’ll email you about campaigns, events and opportunities to get involved.
Find out more about how we use your information.