Cllr. Clare Daly has claimed that the County Council’s budget for 2009 could be cut by as much as E55m following a financial directive from the Department of the Environment that prohibits the Council from using its full reserve fund of developers’ levies. The Government has directed that “expenditure is funded from income received or due within the year,” which would mean that only existing works which have contracts can go ahead.
“It is quite incredible that, having cut the Council’s funding by 7 per cent already, the Government is now preventing them from spending money contributed by people when they bought their houses during the development boom here. This is money for which people are paying handsomely now in their mortgages,” said Cllr. Daly.
The Socialist Party councillor also said this directive could see the shelving of projects such as the proposed Brackenstown Community Centre which is long promised and was due to go out to tender. It could also rule out community facilities, road works and parks for communities which experienced massive growth such as Balbriggan and Kinsealy.
“It is scandalous that our communities are to endure these additional cuts in works that the money is actually there to pay for! In addition, building workers and others could be taken off the dole to do these jobs, which would benefit the economy overall. The Socialist Party will campaign with the community to demand this totally undemocratic and economically unsound directive is overturned by Fianna Fail and the Greens, or else ignored by the Council, and that no project is cancelled,” she concluded.