Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government Brian Stanley TD has today welcomed Dublin City Council's vote demanding that the government reverse its decision to cut funding to local authorities.
Deputy Stanley said,
“It is hugely significant that an Emergency Motion was passed unanimously at last night's Dublin City Council meeting calling, 'on the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan TD to reverse the cuts in the Local Government Fund and restore adequate funding for local democracy and the provision of Council services to our citizens and communities.'
“Sinn Féin Councillors tabled the emergency motion in response to the decision of the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan to slash funding for the Council based on the level of Household Charge collection to date. It is now essential that minister hogan listens to the largest local authority and in particular to councillors from Labour and Fine Gael. It is now time for him to reverse these cuts.
“The minister has directly linked the reduction to the level of collection of the Household Charge in Dublin City. The government could have made other choices. Funding and savings could have been made from one of the following options:
• Introduce a new third rate of tax of 48% on income earned by individuals in excess of €100,000. Raises: €410 million
• Abolish ‘Group relief’ availed of by companies to transfer losses to profitable companies and write down tax receipts. Raises: €450.3 million
• Cap all public servants wages at €100,000 per annum. Saves: €265m
“Sinn Féin will be tabling motions in all 57 councils where we have representation. We hope that councillors from all parties support this motion. Regardless of political affiliation these proposed cuts affect everyone.”
Motion passed unanimously at Dublin City Council, 3 September 2012. This is the Sinn Féin motion as amended by the Labour Party. Amendment was agreed and the motion was taken without debate.
In light of the impending financial crisis facing Dublin City Council and local authorities throughout this State, Dublin City Council calls on the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan TD to reverse the cuts in the Local Government Fund and restore adequate funding for local democracy and the provision of Council services to our citizens and communities.
We regret the Circular from the Minister's Department to all local authorities announcing further reductions in the Local Government Fund and linking reductions of funding for individual Councils, including Dublin City Council, to the level of collection of the Household Charge.
We call for the replacement of the Household Charge with a reformed, equitable system of funding for Local Government based on sound economic realities and experience in other countries, including reference to an ability to pay and in line with several submissions from Dublin City Council.
Finally we request an urgent meeting with the Minister and his officials to explore ways to ensure the future protection of services provided by this Council.