A DONEGAL TD has accused the Government of being “sneaky” – by using the household tax shortfall as an excuse for cutbacks
Independent TD for Donegal South West Thomas Pringle claims the budgets for roads, libraries and housing maintenance in the county had been slashed BEFORE the household tax boycott.
Latest figures show that 31,729 households have paid the tax – out of an estimated 65,331 properties, that’s less than half.
Donegal County Council saw its latest allocation of grants from central government cut by another €1M.
Mr Pringle claimed the budget for library services in Donegal had been cut by €600,000, money available for housing maintenance was down by €275,000 and the budget for roads was also significantly down.
He claimed the Government was linking non-payment of the household charge to cuts already decided on.
“This is typical of handling of the whole household tax issue, they had planned the cuts anyway,” he said.
“The only satisfactory outcome is that funding already allocated be maintained.”
He added: “Already this year library services have been cut by €600,000. We’ve seen the closure of Killybeggs library. We’ve seen the closure of Ramelton library, the reduction in hours for Donegal town and Ballyshannon.
“So the Government is going to try and use this argument now that the only reason there’s cuts in Donegal is because we haven’t paid the Household Charge.”
Nationally owners of 990,459 properties have paid the €100 tax – which is expected to be more than €1,000 next year. The owners of 600,000 properties have yet to pay the charge and could face court prosecution.