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21/10/2021

Funding for local Government is an 'absolute disgrace and a two-finger salute', says councillor

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Carlow County Council offices on the Athy Road

A shortfall in funding for local Government is an "absolute disgrace and a two-finger salute", a Carlow councillor has said.

Cllr Will Paton made the remarks at a recent budgetary meeting of Carlow Municipal District where Council chief executive, Kathleen Holohan said the budget had been "pared to a minimum".

Cllr Paton said: "Funding for local Government is an absolute disgrace. Staffing is down 23% and we went from 39 elected positions to 18. There was a 50% hit and cut in wages and we stood by and let it happen. 

"Local Government is like the dirt on the shoe of Cinderella. I have no issue with the Council executive. My issue is with the national Government."

He added that the current funding the local authority receives from central Government is a "two-finger salute to local Government". 

Cllr Ken Murnane said "it's proven that we're under-funded compared to other counties". 

Speaking after the meeting to Carlow Live, Cllr Paton said: "Carlow County Council is being short changed year on year by €2.7 million since 2014. Imagine the additional works that could be done with €2.7 million."

When asked where he got this figure, the councillor added: "It's the difference between the average amount given to Councils from the Local Government Fund and the amount that Carlow Co Co receives.

"Year on year we are €2.7 million short of the average only one of 2/3 counties to be shortchanged.
 
"Minster Eoghan Murphy promised to assist us when the Government balanced the budget in 2019 but has failed to do so despite a balanced budget and his promises."

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