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Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Local Area Plans (18 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: I will ask the Minister of State, Deputy English, to correspond or engage directly with the Deputy on the matter. I do not want to enter into any commitments on his behalf, other than to say that he has not changed his view, as pointed out by the Deputy in his initial contribution, on the strategic importance of the development of Celbridge. This is a classic case in the sense that the...

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Local Area Plans (18 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: What is the population?

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate: Local Area Plans (18 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: I thank the Deputy for raising the matter. As he pointed out, I am taking the debate on behalf of the Minister of State, Deputy English, who had a prior commitment. The advancement of housing development in Celbridge and the continued planned growth of this important town in tandem with the supporting infrastructure and amenities required is an important issue. I remember when Celbridge...

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (18 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: Deputy Collins is looking for cheap publicity. That is all.

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Electoral Register (18 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: Following an initial consultation with local authorities on a set of policy proposals, I launched a public consultation on the electoral register modernisation project in December 2018. 187 submissions were received from a broad range of stakeholders and I intend to publish a report on the consultation very shortly.

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Electoral Reform (17 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: The Citizens’ Assembly recommended in its report on The Manner in which Referenda are held & Fixed Term Parliaments (June 2018) that the voting age should be lowered to 16 years as a means to increase voter turnout at elections.  While the Assembly voted by 80% in favour of a reduction in the voting age, it is noted that the report did not specify the election or...

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Local Government Reform (17 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: Government policy on local government reform was set out in the 2012 policy document Putting People First, Action Programme for Local Government which committed to strengthening the role of local government and providing for a wider range of suitable functions. The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provided for inter alia a refocusing of the role of local government on economic, social and...

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Local Authority Staff Recruitment (12 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: The pay scales for a Grade 7/Administrative Officer, with effect from 1st September 2019, are outlined in the following table. Incremental credit is generally given for each year of service in the role, on the anniversary of appointment. Additional costs that are borne by the employer include Employers PRSI and Superannuation contributions. Grade 7 - Administrative Officer ...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Local Authority Rates (11 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: The compensation for Waterford City and County Council will be €2 million, while for Wicklow County Council it will be €300,000. It reflects the shortfalls in both cases and their lack of alternative sources of revenue. It is open to whosoever in the future to consider compensation. Waterford City and County Council is in quite straitened financial circumstances. It has a...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Local Authority Rates (11 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: I thank Deputy Ó Broin for his very pertinent question. In the past four years, since 2015, the revenue of local authorities has increased by 25%, from €4 billion to €5 billion. I suspect it is a much bigger figure than is widely known. This mainly comprises income from goods and services, commercial rates, Government grants and local property tax. Between 2015 and...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Local Authority Rates (11 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: Most of the contact was with Waterford City and County Council. In fact, there was even a delegation from the councils last week on which Deputy Ó Broin's party and mine were represented. The other councils did have contact with the Department. In light of recent decisions by Dublin City Council to back a white-water rafting initiative on the quays, it was felt that the authority and...

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Local Authority Funding (11 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: Since 2015, the revenue of local authorities has grown from approximately €4 billion to €5 billion. This mainly comprises income from goods and services, commercial rates, Government grants and Local Property Tax. Between 2015 and 2019, Irish Water was not liable for commercial rates and approximately €47m p.a. was paid to local authorities to compensate them for the...

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Seanad Reform (11 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: In April 2018, the Taoiseach established an Implementation Group on Seanad Reform (SRIG) to consider the Manning Report (formally known as the Report of the Working Group on Seanad Reform) and to develop specific proposals to legislate for Seanad reform. The SRIG's report, together with a draft Bill, was published in December 2018. The SRIG Report contains recommendations in relation...

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Local Authority Rates (11 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: Local authorities have a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists. The levying and collection of rates are matters for each individual local authority. The elected members of local authorities have direct responsibility in law for all reserved functions of the authority, including...

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Electoral Process (11 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: Following a detailed proposal from the Interdepartmental Group on the Security of Ireland’s Electoral Process and Disinformation, the Government agreed on 5 November 2019 that my Department would prepare the General Scheme of a Bill which would provide for the display of specified information in respect of the use of paid political advertising in online media during electoral periods....

Written Answers — Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government: Property Tax (10 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: Local Property Tax (LPT) was introduced to provide an alternative, stable and sustainable funding base for the local authority sector, providing greater levels of connection between local revenue raising and associated expenditure decisions and making the taxation system less dependent on other taxes. LPT accounts for approximately 9% of the local government sector’s current income,...

Seanad: Local Government Funding: Statements (5 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: I thank Senators for giving me an opportunity to speak about local government funding. We are all conscious that at this time of the year, we are in the budget-making season for local authorities. The adoption of a balanced budget is the single most important duty that elected members of local authorities are called on to carry out each year. As I speak, 29 of our 31 local authorities have...

Seanad: Local Government Funding: Statements (5 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: It has all the money though.

Seanad: Local Government Funding: Statements (5 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: There are some 60,000 houses that have never paid LPT.

Seanad: Local Government Funding: Statements (5 Dec 2019)

John Paul Phelan: That is to leave the Senator in no doubt.

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