The Fianna Fáil Group on Cork County Council has today supported the Council’s budget which is aimed at supporting small businesses in the district, enabling community development and helping families under pressure.
Fianna Fáil is now the largest party on Cork County Council and has played a critical role in devising the budget book this year. While the overall budget amount is insufficient due to a cut in support from central Government, the party believes that a fair distribution of resources has been achieved this year.
Fianna Fáil Leader on Cork County Council, Cllr. Seamus McGrath is broadly satisfied with the party’s achievements during the budget process.
He commented, “From the outset we stated our intention to relieve the burden of commercial rates on businesses in Cork County and we have achieved that with today’s budget. The relief is particularly targeted at small to medium businesses which is critically important. Homeowners in Cork County have already benefitted from our proposal to reduce the local property tax by 10% in 2015 and we have stated our intention to go to the full 15% reduction in 2016. We want to make sure the budget is used to help enable community development, improve the conditions of families in the county and to encourage small businesses and entrepreneurship”.
Other key elements of the budget passed today include:
- Commercial Rates which have been a major issue over recent years have been reduced by 5% up to a cap of a rates bill of €3000. All businesses will benefit, but the cap ensures a targeted and equitable approach.
- Housing maintenance is also a priority with a major increase in the amount of funds set aside for housing maintenance in Cork County. There are approximately 7,000 rented properties in Cork County.
- The economic development fund which last year amounted to €1 million continue and be increased
- A significant increase in the general municipal allocations to support community activity in the new municipal areas
- A Town Development Find to be put in place with approximately €1 million to support development of services in local towns and villages throughout the county.
Fianna Fáil Whip, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn commented, “The Fianna Fáil team in County Cork is dedicated to providing strong and positive leadership in local politics in Cork. Our support of this balanced budget is part of that effort”.