Myself and my Fine Gael colleagues on Dublin City Council voted against the City Council Budget for 2019 at last night’s Budget meeting. We opposed the Budget primarily because the SF / Labour / Green / Independent coalition, despite securing approximately ten million euro in Commercial Rates buoyancy, wanted to stiff our local business with another four million in charges.
Following the 2014 Local Elections, Fine Gael walked away from joining a Governing Coalition on Dublin City Council because we could not be sure that your Local Property Tax would not be increased by Sinn Fein and their supporters in Labour and the Greens. Secondly, we would NOT countenance any increase in business charges given our role in cutting commercial rates between 2009 and 2014.
Despite this, we have taken a prudent approach to Council Budgets since 2014. We opposed the 2017 Budget as it included an increase in Commercial Rates. We supported the 2018 Budget because Sinn Fein and the partners in Labour and the Greens actually brought forward the draft Budget we presented the year before! However, with this year’s Budget, we said that we would not vote to increase charges for businesses in the city. We would not and could not support a hike in charges for those and small local businesses that are at the heart of Stoneybatter, East Wall and the North Strand for example.
Secondly, we could not support a Budget that was increasing waste charges on Council tenants while at the same time, reducing almost eight hundred thousand euro in spending on:
⁃ The operation of our Recycling Facilities
⁃ Litter Warden Service
⁃ Provision and improvement of Litter Bins
⁃ Enforcement of our Waste Regulations
⁃ Implementing Waste Management Plan
In 2019, Dubliners will be tasked with electing a new City Council. Fine Gael candidates for Dublin City Council will put forward our vision for the city over the next five years, including a Budgetary strategy that wont adopt a ‘Tax and Spend’ approach employed by Sinn Fein and their current coalition partners.