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Monaghan Sinn Féin Councillor Brian McKenna speaking on Development charges

27 February, 2004


Monaghan Sinn Féin Councillor Brian McKenna speaking on Development charges at the party's Ard Fheis this evening said: "Having underfunded local government for decades, central government is now using development charges as a form of taxation which takes no account of ability to pay."

Councillor McKenna said

Ba mhaith liom tacú le rúin 23 agus 26.

Throughout this State as we speak new house builders and buyers are receiving demands from local authorities for massive development charges.

Under the Planning and Development Act these charges were intended not for individual first-time home buyers or for people building their own homes. They were intended for housing developers and industrial developers so that they would pay their fair share for local authority services.

Instead what we have now are local authorities imposing these charges on individuals and families and adding yet another crippling burden to the already massive cost of housing in this State, thanks to the market-driven so-called housing policy of Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats.

This is the same Government that brought in a Bill to require developers to devote 20% of housing developments to social and affordable housing and then after a massive lobby from their developer friends they changed the law to allow them to duck out of their obligations.

Motions 23 and 26 mandate this party and our elected representatives to oppose the use of development charges in this cynical way. For cynical is exactly what it is. Having underfunded local government for decades, central government is now using development charges as a form of taxation which takes no account of ability to pay.

These motions give our councillors a clear policy position. Many councils have already decided on this, either for charges or for modified charges at varying levels. I am happy to report that on Tuesday past Monaghan County Council voted unanimously against the development charges. Without doubt that was because of the presence in strength of Sinn Féin on Monaghan County Council.

Support the motions and reject these unjust charges.

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