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Explanatory Memorandum to Rates (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004


5.The policy decisions to phase out industrial derating and to introduce the rating of vacant non-domestic property were announced in April 2003 following an extensive public consultation exercise in 2002 and detailed discussions with representatives of the business community in early 2003.

6.A further consultation exercise was launched in October 2003 on the Proposal for a draft Rates (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004, which aimed to give effect to these policy decisions. 31 responses were received. The Proposal was also debated in the House of Commons Northern Ireland Grand Committee in January 2004. The provision in the Order on hardship relief (Article 8) was inserted in response to the views expressed during the consultation exercise on the Proposal and the Grand Committee debate.

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