Sinn Féin councillor Rory Donaghy has said more and more people in the North are finding themselves in debt and unable to afford to pay household rates as a result of the recession and Tory austerity policies.
Mr. Donaghy said: “There is no doubt that householders have been hit hard by austerity and cuts brought in by the Tory-led coalition since 2010.
“There has been a six-fold increase in the number of people forced to seek special arrangements for household rates payments due to financial difficulties.
“Last year court action was taken by Land and Property Services against almost 49,000 households who found themselves in arrears.
“These increasing debts are an indication of the pressure families are under as a result of Tory cuts and austerity.
“Those who are calling for further vicious cuts to welfare would do well to remember that additional cuts would push many of these families into further poverty and hardship.”