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Sinn Féin will continue to oppose Development Levies

2 June, 2004

The Sinn Féin leader on Monaghan County Council has said that his party will continue to oppose unjust Development levies after the election. North Monaghan representative Brian McKenna has called on all other parties and candidates to make the same commitment.

Cllr. McKenna said that Sinn Féin played a key role in ensuring that the unjust charges, which have been implemented right across the state, were rejected by local authorities in Monaghan.

He said: "Sinn Féin is proud that Monaghan County Council and each Town Council in this county rejected these unfair charges. We are quite happy to confirm that our position will not change after the election because we know that if implemented these charges would affect first time home-buyers and new home-builders disproportionately.

"People are now aware that the problem that has led us to this situation is that central governments have continually failed to adequately fund local authorities. Tax payers are having service after service included on the list of things we pay twice for. Rather than providing tax breaks and creating tax avoidance schemes for the mega-rich that money should be invested in local councils who could then gives communities the services they deserve.

"The Fianna Fáil government has tried to impose these charges on local communities under a threat that failure to do so may prevent funding for projects from central government. This is a bullying tactic that cannot be allowed to succeed.‰

Cllr. McKenna insisted that the rejection of development levies by councillors may have a beneficial impact for County Monaghan.

"In Monaghan we now have an opportunity, like never before, to encourage industry and investment to our county. We have low rate charges and we are the only county in this region to refuse to be bullied by the Fianna Fáil government to impose these charges on young couples building or buying their first home or on a business trying to set up and employ local people.

"If promoted correctly County Monaghan can become an attractive location for business. Our challenge following next weeks elections will be to implement a strategy that will make such an opportunity a reality. I hope that other parties will join us in making this a reality rather than trying to find ways to explain any possible u-turn."ENDS

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