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2017 saw lowest spend on traveller accommodation by local authorities in years - Eoin Ó Broin TD

8 February, 2018 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has criticised the 45% underspend in traveller accommodation budget by local authorities in 2017.

According to information received in response to a parliamentary question only €4.8m out of a total allocation of €8.7m was drawn by local authorities in 2017.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Information I received yesterday detailed the funding recouped by every local authority in the state on traveller accommodation in 2017.

“Despite more funding being allocated by central government local authorities have only drawn down 55% of the funding allocated and some have spent nothing on traveller accommodation in 2017.

“This is the worst spend in years when you compare it to 2015 when €4.1m out of a budget of €4.3m was recouped and in 2016 when €4.2m out of €5.5 million was spent.

“In 2017 the local authority in my own constituency, South Dublin, failed to draw down any funding for traveller accommodation, despite receiving an allocation of over €1 million.

“This local authority has serious questions to answer and I have written to the Chief Executive and the Director of Housing seeking a meeting on why they have failed to spend any of the funding made available.

“Other local authorities also have questions to answer. Galway County Council failed to draw down any of the €625,000 allocated to it. Cork City only recouped a paltry €97,000 of the €1.1m allocated to it and Meath County Council only spent €5,570 of the €129,000 fund that was allocated to it.

“As I have said before, the Minister for Housing must look at changing the approach as to how capital funding is allocated for the purposes of traveller accommodation. Increasing the overall traveller accommodation budget is no good when it is not being spent by local authorities. 

“Minster Murphy must engage with the local authorities that are failing to invest in traveller accommodation and must intervene directly where they refuse to adequately fund traveller accommodation.”

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