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Stanley hits out at local government funding cuts

5 December, 2011 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the environment, community & local government, Brian Stanley TD, has hit out the government for “strangling communities and local government services with cuts totalling €190 million.”

This is out of a total cut in spending of €377m by the Department of Environment.

Deputy Stanley said

“This government is clearly determined to strangle local government and the communities it represents.

“Today’s announcement by the government that they will be cutting the Local Government Fund by a massive 84% may well bankrupt many local authorities.

“Local government in this state depends on the Local Government Fund to fund their services. These services include fire and emergency services, ambulance services, libraries and social inclusion. We must also remember that the government has already committed to cutting capital funding for housing and water services by over €63 million.

“Separate to local government cuts, today’s announcement also details cuts to the community sector of €8 million. This is a sector that has already received disproportionately high cuts in recent years. This short-sightedness will only create greater division and conflict in many communities.

“The government has also outlined that they intend to make further cuts in the next two years. The cuts will increase to €39 million next year and further cuts totalling another €39 million are expected in 2014. Services that are struggling today may well be closed within the next 12 months. The cruel irony is that the Dormant Accounts Fund still has €82 million in unspent funds, while the Department of Environment itself has €34 million in unspent funds. This is nothing short of a disgrace.”

“This government boasts about being a low tax government, but the truth is that ordinary families will have to dig deeper in their pockets to pay the proposed Household Charge to fund local services. Yet the same families will continue to pay the same level on income tax. This is totally unjust and we will be opposing the introduction of the household tax in next week's Dáil debate.”

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