Mayo County Council has expressed disappointment with the announcement that their Local Government Fund is to be cut by €2.6 million and has confirmed it will appeal the cut.
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan last week notified Mayo County Council that the Local Government Fund was to be cut by €2.6 million for the remainder of the year due to the deficit in payments of the Household Charge.
‘We are not happy’
So far, 63 per cent of Co Mayo households have paid the Household Charge – higher than the national average of 60 per cent – and Mayo County Secretary John Condon believes the county has been harshly treated by the cut.
“We argue that the figure [cut] should not be anything like that and we will be arguing that in discussions between ourselves and the department. We are not happy and I don’t believe any local authority is happy with the cuts and think the department is being hard on us. We don’t feel we have been singled out but we feel we should not be cut by as much,” he told The Mayo News.
The cuts will force the council to review its budget between now and the end of the year. Mr Condon said that no decision had yet been made on where the cuts would be made.
He went on to say that the Council was happy with the way it collected the Household Charge. He thanked those who have paid already, and he urged those who have not to do so in order to protect the county’s finances.
Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary accused Minister Hogan of punishing Mayo County Council for ‘the chaos he created’ over the collection of the Household Charge by cutting its budget.
“This an extremely serious development that will cause enormous problems for Mayo County Council.
“Minister Hogan’s bullish approach has already caused great confusion. Now people in Mayo are learning that their local services are in the firing line as a result of the mess that the Minister himself made,” he said.
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