Fine Gael Councillor for Dundalk-Carlingford, John McGahon, has tonight (Monday) spoken out about Louth County Council’s decision to reduce the property tax by 1.5%.
“I had hoped to see a more significant cut in the region of 2-5%. Fine Gael tabled a motion to reduce the property tax by 2%, however this was defeated.I took this vote very seriously and I was disappointed to see other Councillors did not do the same. Sinn Fein proposed a full reduction of 15%, to my mind this was a financially reckless proposal which would have taken €1.4 million out of the council budget.”
“I find it very disheartening that people were prepared to push the council off a financial cliff. It’s simple maths, if you are going to take €1.4 million out of a budget, you have to find the savings to make up the shortfall. Sinn Fein’s reckless approach involved voting for 15% and not considering the financial consequences.
“It is important to note that, out of ten Sinn Fein Councilors, not one of them turned up to the budget workshop meeting where a detailed analysis of the accounts was carried out, line by line, and Councillors sought to see where a reduction could be made.
“This budget goes towards providing basic services like street lighting, maintenance of public parks, maintenance of roads, library services, Tidy Towns. Had 15% gone through, all of these services would have been drastically slashed and the people of Louth would have suffered. 1.5% may not seem substantial, but its €150,000 euro, it will be a base from which we can work towards reducing the property tax more over the next five years. But let me make myself clear, a 15% cut would have sent the council into financial chaos, I am proud that I voted to stop that happening”.