Cowen ensures funding is secured to compensate Offaly for loss of rates revenue following closure of ESB power stations 

Published on: 31 October 2020

Fianna Fáil TD for Laois-Offaly, Barry Cowen, has welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Public Expenditure that funding will be allocated to Offaly and Longford who both lost 20% rates income following the closure of Shannonbridge and Lanesboro Power Plants.

Deputy Cowen has worked closely with Offaly County Council management and Fianna council members to secure this important funding in the past number of days.

“I appealed directly to both the Minister for Public Expenditure and the Minister for Housing on this matter alongside my colleagues Deputy Robert Troy and Deputy Flahery, because we were acutely aware of the implications the loss of rates income would have.

“There are stark financial implications from the loss of rates totalling 18.5% of Offaly County Council base rate income. This total is €3.1m from ESB and €150k from Bord Na Mona. There is an urgent need to compensate Offaly and Longford for loss of rates revenue and we hope to see this happen now.

“Such a large hit would have necessitated large cuts across discretionary spend of councils.  It was imperative that having supported the acceleration of decarbonisation that such just transition wouldn’t impact so severe

“I am delighted that having worked with all involved in this we have a resolution and that Minister O’Brien and Minister McGrath have been liaising on the funding issues arising and it has been agreed that the funding in question will be provided to both local authorities.

“This can’t be just a one off, we need to ensure that the likes of carbon tax funding meant for just transition compensatory funding be channelled in this way,” concluded Deputy Cowen.