€2 million grant from Government saves Council from increasing business rates and housing rents
Waterford City and County Council has avoided increasing business rates and local authority rents following a last-minute cash injection from the Government.
The local council has been granted an additional €2 million to help pass the council’s budget for 2019, however a shortfall of €1.2 million remains.
Following extensive lobbying by local TDs, Senators, Councillors and the local authority executive, the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy granted the extra €2 million to assist the budget.
The €3.2 million budget shortfall is the result of the revaluation of local authority assets, including rates owed to the council by Irish Water, as well as other factors.
Before the €2 million was approved, the council was facing a stark choice to make up the shortfall – either reduce spending on council services or increase business rates and local authority housing rents.
Local Councillor and Fine Gael General Election candidate John Cummins has welcomed the news that Waterford City and County Council has been granted an additional €2 million.
“All my party colleagues put their shoulder to the wheel over the last couple of weeks and have been involved in an extensive lobbying effort to ensure the shortfall was minimised. Thankfully, as a result of our efforts, an additional €2 million has been given to Waterford City and County Council, which puts us in a much better position than we were a couple of weeks ago.
“As with every budget, challenges always arise, such as the €1.2 million shortfall we faced a couple of years ago due to another revaluation of global utilities, in that case – telecommunications. The current shortfall, while challenging, is now commensurate with that figure following our increased subvention of €2 million.
“There is nothing unusual about difficult budgets, in fact, our income from Irish Water (separate to rates) has dropped by €3.2 million over the past five years, while our housing maintenance budget, for example, has increased by €985,000 over the same period.”