Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 17 January 2023
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government
Local Government Performance Indicators and Public Spending Code: National Oversight and Audit Commission
Steven Matthews (Wicklow, Green Party) | Oireachtas source
I will take the next slot as it is a Green Party one and I will continue on what Senator Boyhan was saying. The work NOAC does is incredibly important. I remember as a councillor that when I got the NOAC reports I would go to see how my local authority was comparing with the others. When you are a county councillor you know the way your council operates. I did not know how Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, next door to me, operated or the way Fingal County Council, up the road, operated. I was familiar with how my council worked and I took that as the way things were done everywhere. When you are provided with that kind of independent oversight, to a certain extent, of those indicators, it helps you to see if your council is an outlier or if it is in the middle of the pack and it helps you to understand it so it is helpful in that regard.
I have read that local government in Ireland is quite weak compared with many other local government systems in European and international comparisons. I have also read that funding for local government in Ireland is quite low when compared with international examples. I know this is trying to compare apples with oranges because there are different income streams, local taxation measures and all those kind of things. Could Mr. McCarthy recommend a good comparator between Irish local government and local government in other similar-type democracies or jurisdictions?