Antrim and Newtownabbey Council’s nett worth £92.3m

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has a nett worth of £92.3m, last month’s meeting of the Audit Committee has been told.

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 11:24 am

Speaking at the December meeting, Head of Finance John Balmer told councillors that this figure is a reduction from £92.6m.

He explained that there have been two “significant” changes since September.

Previously, there was a reserve of £390,000 in draft accounts but the sum of £25,000 has since been used for holiday pay going back six years to waste operatives who left the council in April 2020.

Mr Balmer reported that the local authority’s general fund now stands at £5.98m up from £5.96m.

A second “significant” amendment relates to a disclosure made after Mid Ulster District Council won a VAT tribunal case that could see local authorities in Northern Ireland benefit from a multi-million pound rebate.

Province-wide the VAT refund to 11 local authorities is estimated at between £50m and £70m overall.

The case centred on whether VAT should be levied on the charges paid by members of the public for using council sport and leisure facilities. The relevant VAT repayment may now have to be settled by HMRC.

Mr Balmer said the council is likely to have to “jump through hoops to get that money”.

“The financial impact is very uncertain,” he stated.

Independent member Grace Nesbitt asked if there would be some benefit to the council through a refund of rates from supermarkets.

Alliance Cllr Billy Webb suggested that it would not be returned to the council but to the Assembly.

Six major UK retail chains have now confirmed plans to return a total of more than £1.8bn to the public purse.

Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s rate setting date  for the incoming financial year will be moved forward to March 1.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter.

Click here to read: Centenary commemoration programme launched across Antrim and Newtownabbey

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