Dáil debates

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Local Authorities

11:50 pm

Photo of Ciarán CannonCiarán Cannon (Galway East, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I am not laying any blame at the Minister of State’s door for that response. He is delivering a response that was provided to him by officials within the Department. However, I am saying to those officials right now that this is totally unacceptable. I made the point in my earlier contribution that there is an ongoing review of the local property tax and then we move forward collectively once that review is completed. That does not address the situation that Galway County Council, even after that review and after the allocation of additional LPT across all local authorities, would still be at a major disadvantage with the €20 million shortfall. What needs to happen right now is for that inequity to be addressed. Galway County Council needs to be brought into line with other local authorities of similar demographic make-up and similar size. It is not acceptable that a local authority in one part of the country has to cope with doing its work with 800 staff while another similarly sized local authority has 1,800 staff. That inequity has existed for a very long time. It needs to be addressed completely separately from this ongoing local property tax review. That is the message and I would be very grateful if the Minister of State could bring it back to the Ministers responsible for this budgetary allocation. The local authority members in Galway County Council are about to begin their own budgetary process, trying as best they can to allocate scarce resources across all of the provision within that local authority. They are doing so with one hand tied behind their back with that ongoing €20 million shortfall. It is not acceptable. It needs to be addressed now rather than later.


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