November 10, 2021
Government response to Galway County Council underfunding shows Government is out of touch – Claire Kerrane TD and Mairéad Farrell TD

Galway Sinn Féin TDs Claire Kerrane and Mairéad Farrell this morning raised in the Dáil the continued underfunding of Galway County Council.

Teachta Farrell said:

“We have a crisis in Galway County with all five Municipal Districts rejecting their proposed budgets due to the severe lack of funding of Galway County Council.

“In 2020 we had the second lowest spend per capita of all counties with only €714 being spent per person in our county, this compares to over €1,000 in Clare, over €1,200 in Leitrim and almost €1,200 in Longford.

“We have had a situation where Galway County Council has consistently had a budget per capita that was not only millions less as its closest comparator but also millions below the average of comparators.”

Teachta Kerrane noted:

“Galway is the second biggest county in Ireland. However, when you compare the top five counties in this state, Government funding to Galway is astonishing.

“I have raised this question a number of times with the Minister of Housing yet, it still hasn’t been explained to me as to why when you look at the top five big Counties in Ireland – there are major funding discrepancies.

“I think it’s important to put some comparisons on the Dáil record. In 2018 Kerry, Donegal & Tipperary, all smaller than County Galway, received funding of over 900 per capita with Mayo receiving over €1,000. Galway received €670 per capita.

Increases came across the board of between €82 and €121 but yet again Galway was left in the ha’penny place with an increase of €22.

“This underfunding is not confined to funding but also in staffing levels with far less outdoor staff and with the loss of a Chief Executive being replaced with an interim or acting CE while other counties have had CE’s replaced.”

Fianna Fáil Minister Mary Butler responded by saying:

“It would not be appropriate to increase funding for Galway County Council only, particularly if the members are reluctant to use local revenue raising powers”

The Minister also noted that:

“Had Galway County Council availed of the opportunity to raise LPT by 15% for 2022, the council would have benefitted from an additional €2.2m.”

Teachta Farrell said:

“The response from the Fianna Fáil Minister is outrageous and shows a Government that is completely out of touch and out of ideas. If Galway County Council received revenue per capita as closest comparator they would have received an additional budget of €43.67 million in recent years and if compared to the average of comparators there would be an additional budget of €52.6 million. The Minister failed to address the continued lack of funding by Government and suggested that an increase in LPT and Rates could fill that gap.”

Teachta Kerrane stated:

“The impact of these funding discrepancies impacts on every single person living in County Galway. It means roads cannot be maintained. It means less money for amenities. It means Local Authority housing isn’t maintained. It impacts on every town, village, and community. Something does not add up here. Galway County Council is not getting its fair share. We have reached crisis point and you need to act.”

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