Minister must honour commitment to protect local authority funding - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that Minister Eoghan Murphy’s commitment to protect local authority funding must be honoured.
The call comes as local authorities are experiencing significant funding shortfalls from commercial rates and other revenue sources during the COVID-19 crisis.
Deputy Ó Broin said: “Local authorities across the state are experiencing funding shortfalls in the millions due to loss of commercial rates as well as non rates revenue such as car parking charges, council rents and other income during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The €260m funding commitment from central government to cover the three-month commercial rates waiver for affected sectors of the economy is welcome. But more in needed.
“The three-month waiver will have to be extended. The additional €10,000 start-up grant for business may cover some of the additional rates revenue loss.
“But significant non rates revenue is also being lost. Car-parking charges, council rents and other fees have all experienced a sudden drop.
"To date, there has been no additional central government funding allocated to cover this shortfall.
“City and county managers and elected councillors need certainty. They need to know that government will step in to cover shortfalls in revenue arising from COVID-19. There can be no loss of staff or frontline services.
“Minister Murphy did acknowledge last week in the Dáil that additional money will have to be secured for local authorities if businesses needed to continue to avail of the commercial rates waiver after the initial three months.
"He should now go one step further and give a clear commitment to cover whatever the shortfall is for the remainder of 2020.”