Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane has said that proposed cuts to local councils and increases in council rents, tolls and commercial rates must be resisted as they will disproportionately impact the most vulnerable in our society.
Speaking at Leaders’ Questions today, Deputy Cullinane said;
“€18.4 million in cuts to Dublin and Waterford councils are on the way due to this government and Irish Water.
“This is because the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform will no longer fund the commercial rate compensation scheme.
“Because of this, Waterford City and County Council will see a 13.5% drop in rates at €3.3 million; proportionally the highest cut made.
“These are government cuts plain and simple – cuts that are unsustainable and place a burden on local authorities that cannot be met.
“The compensation by DPER that was in place is now being abolished, leaving councils high and dry.
“Dublin city councillors on Monday night refused to pass a budget because of these cuts – a budget that proposed to increase council rents, increase commercial rates on small businesses and increase toll charges.
“Local authority tenants cannot afford a rent increase. Funding for roads, supports for older people in their homes, and housing maintenance should not be cut to save the government’s blushes.
“The chief executive of Dublin City Council said this had to be done because the council was not being compensated by central government, despite promises made.
“In Waterford there are similar proposals to increase rates and cut services.
“This will cut funding for housing maintenance, roads, festivals and local communities.
“The compensation for local authorities affected must be reinstated.
“It is the only way to protect households, families and businesses.”