Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has today claimed: “the budget is another attempt to shut down local government and emergency services in this state”.
Speaking from Leinster House, Deputy Stanley said: “The government’s budget has taken a slash and burn approach to local democracy and emergency services.
“The Department of Environment has cut funding to local government by 25%, €8.053m. This is on top of the 85% cut imposed for this year. This will further strangle the provision of local services. The local authority housing budget is cut by a massive €46.764m. This comes at a time of an unprecedented housing crisis. There are now 100,000 people waiting to be housed in this state and the government’s response is to cut local authorities housing budget. The social inclusion capital budget is cut by €2m to €4m, down from €9.3m in 2011.
“In a further attack on the elderly and people with disabilities this government has callously cut private housing grants by €20m. This will directly affect those with disabilities seeking grants to adapt their homes. These adaptions ensured people could continue living independently in their own homes. As a consequence more elderly people will be presenting themselves for nursing home care.
“While most worrying is the blatant disregard for health and safety is the further cut to the fire and emergency services capital budget. This budget now stands at €5m down from €12.25m in 2011.
“All these cuts paint a picture of a government who disregard those on housing lists, those with disabilities and those providing emergency services to public.
“I have written to the Minster’s Hogan’s office seeking a meeting as a matter to discuss the implications of these cuts. I would appeal to Minster Hogan that on his return from Doha he reverses theses cuts as a matter of urgency.”