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Sinn Féin to oppose Dublin City Council draft budget 2012

25 November, 2011

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillors have announced that they will be opposing the proposed City Council budget for 2012. The councillors said it would impose further financial burdens on citizens and is based on the unjust Household Charge and the privatisation of the waste collection service.

Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha said:

“Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillors will be opposing the City Council draft budget for 2012. Councillors are being asked to support a draft budget presented by City Council management in a situation where the city’s funding from central government for 2012 is totally unclear.

“From January 2012 the unjust and inequitable Household Charge is to be imposed on citizens and this flat tax will form the basis of the Local Government Fund. Many citizens will be unable to pay this further tax, thus depleting funding for local government. Once again central government is shifting the burden onto the backs of citizens and reducing public services.

“Three times in the past two months the elected members of Dublin City Council have voted against the privatisation of the city’s waste collection service. Yet the City Manager is proceeding with privatisation in defiance of democracy and the draft 2012 budget is based on the elimination of this service. We do not even know at this stage to what extent – if any- people on low incomes will qualify for waivers of bin charges from the privatised service as they do at present from the City Council service.

“This budget also seeks to impose a charge on householders for calling out the Fire Service. This is a dangerous proposal which may deter some people from calling the emergency services. It is also inequitable given that people already pay such a charge as part of their insurance premium, even though the insurance companies do not pass payments on to the local authorities.

“We accept that the Council staff have worked hard to maintain services with greatly tightened finances. However the draft budget 2012 is the implementation at Dublin City Council level of the failed austerity programme of central government – begun by Fianna Fáil and the Greens and now continued by Fine Gael and the Labour Party. Thanks to these parties, the City Council is under monthly scrutiny by the IMF.

“Sinn Féin nationally has presented an alternative economic strategy based on fostering jobs and growth, fair taxation and sharing the burden equitably. As councillors we will campaign on the basis of those demands, representing our communities and standing shoulder to shoulder with those resisting the imposition of further hardship on citizens and the further erosion of local and national democracy.”

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