Underspend on traveller accommodation for 2018 close to 50%- Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has criticised the 48% underspend in traveller accommodation budget by local authorities in 2018.
According to information received in response to a parliamentary question only €6.2m out of a total allocation of €12m was drawn by local authorities in 2018.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Information I received yesterday detailed the funding recouped by every local authority in the state on traveller accommodation in 2018.
“The figures are extremely disappointing. Local authorities have only drawn down 52% of the funding allocated and some have spent nothing on traveller accommodation in 2018.
“Ten local authorities spent nothing despite being allocated funding for 2018. These local authorities include Carlow, Cavan, Cork County, Laois, Longford, Mayo, Meath, Westmeath, Wexford and Galway City.
“The majority of local authorities underspent their traveller accommodation allocation. These 14 local authorities include Clare, Donegal, Galway County, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Wicklow, Cork City, Dublin City and Limerick.
“Some Local Authorities did overspend on their budgets and this must also be acknowledged. These include South Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Kerry, Waterford and Tipperary.
“Unfortunately the huge underspend in traveller accommodation is becoming a trend now. In 2017 only €4.8m out of a total allocation of €8.7m was drawn by local authorities in 2017.
“Especially when you compare it to 2015 when €4.1m out of a budget of €4.3m was recouped in 2016 when €4.2m out of €5.5 million was spent.
“While Sinn Féin welcomed the creation of the working group to review the Traveller Accommodation Programmes, this is the second year in a row, under Minister Murphy’s watch where the underspend was close to 50%.
“Is the Minister engaging with the Local Authorities who are not spending anything on Traveller Accommodation?
"The Minister must outline what action he is taking to ensure there is not a similar under-spend in 2019. There is no point in putting out a press release stating that the overall budget has increased if it is not being spent.”