Fianna Fail Dublin European election candidate Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick warned today that the four Dublin local authorities stand to lose at least €150 million in vital funding because of the Government’s blatant grab of receipts from the Local Property Tax.
According to the preliminary returns the total LPT declared in Dublin across the four local authorities will be €203m in 2014.The total general purpose grant from the Local Government Fund for Dublin will be just €9.7m in 2014, down from €113m in 2013. (Dun Laoghaire Rathdown €5,7m, Fingal €454,714, Dublin City Council €2,66m, South Dublin 923,906).
Cllr Fitzpatrick, a member of Dublin City Council for the last 10 years, said that only 5% of the property tax collected is being returned by means of the Local Government Fund. As a result Dublin is losing out by at least €150m based on 80% retention and €192m if all LPT receipts were retained in the region. The actual total will probably turn out to be more in both cases as revenue seek to increase compliance above declared levels”
She described the loss of funding as yet another example of the betrayal of Dublin households by the Government. She said: “Minister Phil Hogan has effectively conned homeowners in Dublin into paying the Property Tax by promising that 80% of the money gathered in would be spent directly on providing local services. Some 90% of Dublin homeowners paid the tax and contributed over €100 million to the Government coffers. Now Minister Hogan has gone back on his promise and denied the Dublin local authorities the tax receipts. Instead he has squandered the money on expensive consultants to set-up Irish Water to install water meters to extract more money for an unreliable and inadequate water service”.
Overall Dublin is receiving just €8 per person from general purpose grants under the Local Government Fund. This compares to €260 per person in Leitrim, €208 in Longford and €141 in Donegal.
Cllr Fitzpatrick said the Government have stated that 2013 and 2014 are not comparable as “water related costs arising, that local authorities would otherwise have had to meet from their own resources, will be funded centrally by Irish Water.”
“However, the reality is that the introduction of water charges at a single national rate in October will re-enforce the inequality of the LPT to Dublin households”, Cllr Fitzpatrick added.