A local Sinn Féin Councillor has said that voting to reduce the property tax by the maximum 15% this year will not adversely affect the local business community. Cllr Oisin O' Connell, a businessman himself, said that he intended to vote for the reduction which had already been ratified by his party colleagues on Cork City Council because it was 'the right thing to do' and felt that there would be no harmful knock on effect for the struggling business community.
"Every Sinn Féin Councillor is mandated to vote for the maximum reduction of 15% on the local property tax," Cllr O' Connell said, "This is the democratic decision of our membership, decided upon at our recent Ard Fheis in Wexford. This is our policy because it is the right thing to do. We consistently opposed the introduction of the unfair tax, we highlighted the insanity of diverting central government funding for local government into Irish Water and we made it quite clear that it was our intention to overturn the tax when we enter government and to vote for reductions on local councils until then."
"The last thing any sane representative would want to do is inflict any further hardship on the struggling small to medium enterprise sector who are already crippled with rates and taxes. In fact, Sinn Féin has led the call for the reform of rates, replacing the current archaic system with a income linked model. I can see why groups like Chambers Ireland might be concerned, but it was never, and will never be, our intention to make up the gap through further taxes on the business community."
"We have consistently put forward progressive and realistic alternatives to austerity at national level and we will do the same on our local councils. I commend the action taken by my colleagues in Cork and Wexfords five Sinn Féin reps will follow suit when the budget comes in the fall."