Hogan punishes local authorities for his ineptitude over household charge collection
18 July 2012
The Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is to punish local authorities around the country for the chaos he created over the collecting the household charge, according to Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen.
Deputy Cowen was commenting on reports that Minister Hogan is writing to all local authorities to inform them that their budgets for the third quarter will be slashed by between 5% and 15%, depending on the success of the household charge collection in that area.
“This an extremely serious development that will cause enormous problems for local authorities around the country. It is Minister Hogan’s fault, and not the fault of the local authorities, that the collection of the household charge was woefully mismanaged from the start.
“That Minister Hogan would even consider penalising local authorities for the chaos that he created is a disgrace. Not only is it deeply unfair, it will lead to serious funding problems in city and county councils around the country. For example, almost half of the households in Co Offaly did not pay the household charge because of the mess the Government created. If this results in a 10% cut in funding for Offaly County Council, the council’s funding would be down €1.2 million in a year. It simply cannot keep its commitments to local communities in the face of such a significant cut.
“Minister Hogan’s bullish approach has already caused great confusion and distress to homeowners across the country. Now they are learning that their local services are in the firing line as a result of the mess that the Minister himself made.”