Fine Gael Limerick TD, Patrick O’Donovan, has today (Friday) welcomed the announcement from the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD, that Limerick City and County Councils are to get a 15% boost in funding for 2014.
General Purpose Grants (GPGs) of €14,625,159 are being allocated to the Limerick local authorities for the year ahead. When taken with the water costs of some €31,226,411 that will be transferred from the local authorities to Irish Water next year, this represents a funding boost of over €5,964,879, or a 15% increase, when compared to the corresponding funding and costs for 2013.
“This funding boost is positive news for the local authorities and is indicative of the new approach this Government is taking to local Government. Local authority financing will radically change in the year ahead thanks to the establishment of Irish Water, which will assume responsibility for the delivery and funding of water services. It will fund local authorities to deliver water services through Service Level Agreements (SLAs), which have just been finalised for 2014.
“Furthermore, the Local Property Tax will operate on a full year basis, generating direct revenue for local authorities, and the Non Principal Private Residence Charge will be discontinued. The Property Tax will provide a sustainable income stream for local authorities to fund essential local services.
“Work on merging Limerick City and County Councils will continue next year, in a move which I believe will help to end the city-county rivalry which has had a negative effect on businesses in recent years. A single authority will deliver a stronger local government structure which will be in a better position to promote the area and attract investment.
“The merger will also deliver savings and efficiencies by putting an end to unnecessary duplication. I feel strongly that the proceeds of these savings should be used to support local businesses and job creation enterprises in Limerick.”