DUP boycott of Executive could cost rate payers millions – Peacock
Sinn Féin Group leader on Causeway Coast and Glens Leanne Peacock has highlighted her concern that council may not receive its Rates Support Grant due to the DUP continuing to boycott the Executive.
This will put further pressure on council finances moving into the rates setting process.
Leanne Peacock said, "It is unacceptable that the DUP’s failure to do their job could result in a hole in council’s budget costing rates payers millions.
“I have written to the Department’s Permanent Secretary who has confirmed the budget for the Rates Support Grant can not be agreed due to the continued absence of a functioning Executive.
“The people of Causeway Coast and Glens should not be punished due to the DUP’ failures. The DUP’s continued boycott must end now.”
The response from the Department of Communities confirms that no Executive means departments are working from a 'contingency planning envelope' resulting in the budget for the Rates Support Grant not being able to be agreed for 2022/’23.
Councillor Peacock continued “Minister Hargey showed what support can be given when ministers are in post and able to make decisions.
“In 2021/’22 Minister Hargey secured nearly £22m to help keep rates down for workers and families.
“During the Covid pandemic Minister Hargey secured over £102m for councils.
“Before being forced to leave office the minister was able to unlock £33m of that covid support so it can now be used to support ongoing recovery in the context of councils’ increased operating costs.
“It’s time the DUP ended their reckless boycott which is having a disastrous impact on workers and their families. The DUP need to get back into the Executive so we can take the decisions needed which will help people through this cost of living crisis.”