Sinn Féin Councillors have voted against the Donegal County Council budget helping to secure its defeat and the dissolution of the council. Speaking after the vote in the early hours of this morning Sinn Féin’s leader on the council, Councillor Mick Quinn said his party was not given a mandate to implement water charges and will not support a budget that increases taxes and reduces services for families across Donegal.
Councillor Quinn said;
“Sinn Féin will not be involved in any process that will further increase taxes and reduce services for families across Donegal. We were not given a mandate to introduce water charges and we will not be doing Minister Hogan’s dirty work for him.
“As a result of this evening’s vote Sinn Féin, and all other councillors, will lose their salaries. However, we did not seek election for a salary or for any personal gain. We were elected to represent the people of Donegal and this budget is not in their best interests. In fact it would be detrimental to the vast majority of people living in this county.
“Irish Water refused to meet with members of Donegal County Council on request from Sinn Féin, yet the company expects us to vote for the transfer to its ownership of a priceless asset which belongs to the people of this county, and in turn it plans put metres outside these people's homes and charge them for the privilege of using this infrastructure.
“The budget book as presented is full of aspirational figures and unrealisable objectives. This same council passed a budget for 2013 which had to be revised in July 2013 and cut by €2.75m because of fantasy figures which Sinn Féin pointed out could not be realised. The same would have happened this year if this budget was passed.
“Donegal has been devastated by unemployment and emigration. Donegal has worst infrastructure in Ireland. Our roads are crumbling.
“We have the highest rate of unemployment in Ireland and the lowest disposable income and youth unemployment is at almost 50%.
“Sinn Féin has shown that we will stand up and be counted when tough decisions need to be made and we will be fielding a strong team of candidates to increase our representation on the council in the upcoming local elections.
“It is time to fight for the people of our county.”