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Cllr Dermot Lacey

Representing Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council
Dermot Lacey is a Labour Party Councillor for the Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council. Dermot has been a member of Dublin City Council since 1993, and lives in Beech Hill, Donnybrook.
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 / Cllr Dermot Lacey ƒ Representing Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council

‘Pay Your Bills’ – Government called on to pay the €220 million owed to Dublin

Speaking at a special meeting of Dublin City Councils Finance Committee, former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Dermot Lacey called on the Government to pay its Bills. Highlighting the fact that the Council was
owed at least E210million from Government he expressed scepticism at the Governments commitment to reforming Local Government if the issue of financing was not addressed.

“This week the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government launched a Green Paper and I welcome many aspects of the document and in particular the proposal to introduce a Mayor for the
Dublin Region.

However despite the centrality of finance to any real reform this has been specifically excluded from the Green Paper on the grounds that the issue is being reviewed by the Commission on Taxation.

Disgracefully the Commission which has eighteen members contains not a single elected representative, or ever a former representative from the Local Government sector despite being charged with bringing forward
proposals in this regard.

I have proposed before that a Forum on the Financing of Local Government be established. It would be comprised of the main Political Parties, the Social Partners and the Councillor Representative Bodies. The Forum would be charged, with agreeing a consensus approach on the issue. There would be an opportunity to contribute for the wider public and it would be given twelve months to report.

The Forum could consider either a national and common approach to the funding issue or, as I would prefer, a range of options that could be determined, as appropriate by local elected Councils. These could include everything from a tourist or hotel bed levy, planning enforcement charges, a variable income or sales tax and so on. Real responsibility will then rest with local Councillors who will also have real flexibility in how to spend the money.

While awaiting the report from their own Commission, or the Forum which I propose, the Government could show their commitment by immediately agreeing to pay Dublin City Council the €27million that it owes for
rates on Government properties for last year alone. We can then negotiate on the €110 million shortfall in the monies owed in lieu of Domestic Rates and the €72million due for the costs of Benchmarking, from which Local Government was excluded from having any input but simply left to pay the bill.”

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