Sunday, 25 November 2012

2013 City Budget

Approval of 2013 Dublin City Council Estimates is premature and should be deferred until after December 6th–
Statement from Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick,
Fianna Fail Group Leader,
Dublin City Council.

 “Dublin City Councillors will meet tomorrow Monday 26th November 2012 to consider and approve the 2013 City Council Budget.  The Fianna Fail group believes that the uncertainty caused by lack of clarity from Government on key issues of Property Tax and Water Services make it impossible at this time for Councillors to make an informed decision on the proposed Dublin City Council Budget for 2013. 
In the interest of good governance the Fianna Fail Group on Dublin City Council will propose a motion to defer consideration and approval of the 2013 City Budget until after the Government announces the National Budget, with details of the government’s proposed Property Tax and Irish Water Company, on December 6th 2012. We are calling on all City Councillors to support this motion.
We believe it would be irresponsible for Dublin City Councillors to approve a budget for 2013 with uncertainty hanging over €80million caused by lack of clarity from  National Government on its plans for a Property Tax and the Irish Water company.
The Fine Gael and Labour Government seems determined to introduce a value based property tax in Decembers budget but has refused to release any details about the tax.  We believe a Property tax will be unfair, uncollectible and undermines local Government.  I have a motion on the City Council Agenda, supported by a significant number of City Councillors, calling on the Government to abandon their plans for a property tax.   The introduction of a property tax has potentially significant implications for the Local Government Fund and the NPPR and in the absence of details from the Government on their Property Tax it is irresponsible of City Councillors to approve the draft budget.   
The Government decided in December 2011 to establish a public water utility company to take over the provision of water services from Dublin City Council.  Irish Water has been established as an independent state owned company within the Bord Gais Group.  The Government was supposed to publish an implementation plan in November 2012.  In the absence of this plan Dublin City Councillors do not know how much of the €26milllion revenues included in the City Council 2013 budget for water services will be soaked-up by Irish Water.  Additionally Dublin City Council is proposing a 5% increase in the commercial water rates for 2013. For some businesses in the City this will represent a significant increase and City Councillors should not blindly place any extra financial burden on businesses in the city.
Dublin City Councillors should put the interests of the 1,000s of staff, residents and businesses in Dublin City first.  They should act responsibly and support the Fianna Fail motion to defer a decision on the estimates until such time as we have all the relevant facts and information to make a real budget for the city.”
End Statement.
For further information please contact Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick 086 812 6332
Motion from Cllr Brabazon, Carmichael, Heney, Fitzpatrick, McAuliffe & O’Callaghan
In the interest of good governance the elected members of Dublin City Council agree to defer consideration and approval of the 2013 estimates until after the National Budget on December 6th has been released and the implications, of the Government’s Property Tax and implementation of the Irish Water Company, for local government are made clear.