Tuesday, 28 June 2022
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
I hear the Deputy loud and clear. I will bring his suggestions and deliberations back to the Minister. LPT allocations for 2023 have yet to be decided. We acknowledge the current funding pressures on local authorities.
As such, the funding from Galway County Council and other local authorities will be kept under review as part of the normal Estimates process for 2023 in the context of the aforementioned LPT yield, following the re-evaluation process.
There was unprecedented support for local authorities during the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the earliest priorities of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage was to secure funding to provide a waiver of commercial rates for businesses impacted by the pandemic, while simultaneously supporting local authorities. The cost of the waiver for the local authority sector for 2020 and 2021 was €1.2 billion, and €191 million was paid out in additional support towards lost incomes and expenditure for the same period. In addition, the limited quarter 4 rates waiver has been extended to the first quarter of this year at an estimated cost of €61 million. Over 2020 and 2021, Galway County Council has recouped a total of €17.5 million in respect of the rates waiver and €3.5 million towards Covid-related income losses and expenditure.
The funding position of Galway County Council will continue to be kept under review during the 2023 Estimates process. However, the Deputy has stated that there is a €20 million shortfall. It seems the issue is that the Deputy is looking to see if that €20 million can be addressed in some way or another. That is quite reasonable. Again, it is not my Department, but I will certainly bring it to the attention of the Minister.