Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hogan’s funding cut will decapitate local government in Wexford – Kelly

Cllr Anthony Kelly has accused Minister Phil Hogan of endangering local government in County Wexford after it emerged that the Minister for the Environment was to withhold part of the Local Government Fund Allocation. This will result in a decrease of between 5% and 15% in funding for local council in Wexford from central government. The Sinn Féin rep slammed Minister Hogan for blaming household tax boycotters over his decision to cut funding and effectively decapitate local government in Wexford.

Cllr Kelly said;

“Minister Hogan’s decision to replace funding for local government with revenue from the controversial household charge earlier this year was a vain attempt to justify a tax that was never going to be accepted by homeowners in this state. The Minister made a mistake which has left local authorities across the country in an impossible financial position.”

“Now he plans to impose further cuts in central government allocations for the remainder of 2012. Someone needs to tell the Minister that two wrongs don’t make a right.”

“Sinn Féin warned that the government’s decision to tie local government funding to the uncollectable and inequitable Household Charge would lead to a breakdown in local services and make local authorities redundant. The Fine Gael and Labour government were wrong then and they are wrong now with their decision to penalise local authorities for the mess they have created.”

“Minister Hogan has said that the LGFA could be increased in September if councils step up their collection rates. This is literally holding councils and citizens to ransom. The Minister seems incapable of seeing that this decision will decapitate local government and increase dissent among the electorate.”

Cllr Kelly also rejected Minister Hogan’s claim that it was the duty of the revenue commissioners to collect the property tax that will replace the controversial household charge.

“The collection of the government’s property tax should not be the duty of the revenue commissioners. This tax is the brainchild of a government that has blatantly rejected the will of the people. The mission statement of our revenue commissioners states that their responsibility is ‘to serve the community by fairly and efficiently collecting taxes’. How can this be applied to a tax that has been deemed unfair by a majority of Irish people?”

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