Budget 2014: Budget attacks communities and their futures: Stanley
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has slammed the government’s Budget, calling it, “an attack on communities and their services.”
Deputy Stanley said:
“This budget is a direct attack on communities and their services. Funding for Water Services has been cut by a massive 87%. Water services will now be provided by Irish Water requiring investment of €240m from the Department of Environment. This is on top of the €500m given to Irish Water earlier this year from the National Pension Reserve Fund to install water meters.
“On one hand the government are cutting public investment in water, while handing money over to Irish Water with the other hand. But it is the householder who will pick up the tab with the introduction of new water rates.
“Funding for housing has been cut by 10%. This cut is even more drastic when you realise that funding for local authority housing has been cut from €422,444m in 2010 to a miserly €40m for next year, while housing cooperatives have seen their funding cut by €15m down to €40,925.
“Meanwhile the government offer of a once off grant of €30m from the sale of the lottery. This will provide only 500 houses. This is little more than a band aid. It will do little to alleviate the housing crisis with over 100,000 applicants languishing on the housing list.
“The biggest cut of all is preserved for the Department of Environment’s Community and Rural Development. This fund has been cut by a massive 49% down to €102,442m. This fund was designed to provide grants for local businesses and to create employment opportunities. This cut will impact most severely in those communities hit by the recession.
“Clearly this budget is more about penalising communities rather than investing in their future.”