Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Local Government Rates and Other Matters Bill 2018: Committee and Remaining Stages
Having experienced this first-hand in Kildare County Council, I agree with the Minister. That council would have voted against a budget at local authority level if the members and the manager had proposed a rate increase on the commercial sector of 10% while the annual rate of inflation was 2%. That would have been an 8% increase over and above the rate of inflation, which would impact not alone the ratepayers but also their customers in the area, the people who go into the shops and other retail outlets. It is, therefore, very prudent of the Minister of State to put a provision such as this into the legislation. The reason for it is to curtail irrational behaviour on the part of councillors and managers in local authorities.As far as I can see, those who go above the rate of inflation in the context of increasing rates is doing harm to local businesses in their own areas. This is a very prudent amendment. On Second Stage, I proposed that when the Minister of State sends out the circular it should be consistent across the State rather than being selective for various counties.