‘They’re picking our pockets’ – Waterford faces ‘financial emergency’ over €3.3m cuts
Waterford Councillors have been informed the council faces a financial emergency after being advised of potential cuts of €3.3 million.
Councillors were informed of the cuts yesterday, which are a result of a sharp drop in rates payable by Irish Water.
Waterford Mayor John Pratt said the potential cuts could lead to a “colossal and unbearable loss of revenue”.
He added: “If this goes ahead it would force Waterford City and County Council to cut expenditure on Roads, Festivals, Arts and Community Grants – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.”
Mayor Pratt described the cuts as another “attack” by the Government to force the council to bring in significant increases in business rates and housing rents.
“Waterford Rate and Rent Payers need to be protected from plugging the hole left by a revaluation of Irish Water Rates,” he added.
“While the executive of the council will strongly appeal against this valuation, the likelihood of a positive outcome, or a significant change is low.
“My colleagues and I on Waterford Council want to prepare a prudent and responsible budget for 2020 but this is impossible while we are having our pockets picked.
“We must all fight this to protect rates and rent payers from unnecessary increases and to ensure continuity of services to the citizens of the city and county.
“Once again, Waterford is disproportionately suffering as a result of poor decision making at national level.
“The only other councils facing cuts at the level of millions are the councils in Dublin – who can afford to absorb the cost. Waterford is facing the 3rd largest cut of all councils across the Country.”