“Dublin City Councillors will meet today to consider and approve the 2013 City Council Budget.  The Fianna Fáil 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 Fáil 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 Gáis 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 Fáil 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.”