Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Press Release - Looney Welcomes Passage of Council Budget

Labour Party Councillor Dermot Looney (Tallaght Central) has welcomed the passage of the 2013 South Dublin County Council Budget, stating that the Budget “seeks to protect frontline services and develop South Dublin as a good place to live and work.” The Council’s Budget was passed at a meeting on Monday, December 17th with the support of Labour, Sinn Féin and Fine Gael Councillors, along with two Independents. Looney has also criticised Fianna Fáil, who voted and spoke against the Budget without offering any alternative proposals.

“Today’s Budget seeks to protect frontline Council services such as Housing, Roads, Parks and Environmental Services, despite a substantial drop in income from central government and other sources. We have also managed to increase funding to the Council’s award-winning Library Services,” stated Looney. 

“Members of the Labour/Sinn Féin/Independent Alliance on the Council have again foregone tens of thousands of euro in Conference Expenses, following through on a 2009 pledge not to claim any money for Conferences at home or abroad. This money has been diverted into a Window Replacement Fund, increased to approximately €1 million, and targeted at local authority tenants. Councillors also froze rates for businesses in the County, after three separate rates cuts of accumulating to 5.3% since 2009. Important supports for vulnerable people were also protected, such as housing grants for the elderly and those who are disabled."

“Fianna Fáil opposed the Council Budget without offering a single alternative. At the meeting, I called on them to present alternative ideas, but, as has happened before, they could not be bothered. They subsequently complained about burial ground charge increases; despite knowing about these increases for more than a year they offered no alternatives on the day or in advance. It is hard to take them seriously on the issue. Last year, members of the Labour/Sinn Féin/Independent Alliance managed to offset some of the increases by diverting money set aside for Councillor Conferences to the burial grounds. Fianna Fáil Cllrs used those same funds to travel to hotels around the country attending Conferences.”