Sinn Féin spokesperson on environment, community and local government, Brian Stanley TD, has accused Minister Phil Hogan of holding local authorities to ransom.
Deputy Stanley said:
“Minister Hogan is reported to have withheld a further €900k in funding from local authorities because of the non-payment of household charge. His actions are nothing short of extortion.
“This coupled with the budget cuts to local government Funding of 25%, 2013 will see many local authorities being forced to cut local services.
“Minister Hogan's household charge has been a disaster for his department and he is now attempting to shift the blame onto councils the length and breadth of this state. The charge is unjust and as predicted it has proven to be unworkable. The public responded to his unjust tax by engaging in a legitimate form of protest. He is now bullying local authorities into squeezing the public for the outstanding millions.
“The household charge should never have been introduced. Sinn Féin has actively opposed it since its introduction last year and we will continue to do so.”