Sinn Fein accuses FF and FG of claiming ‘miracles’ from Property Tax cash 03/06/17 : the chronicle.ie

Sinn Fein accuses FF and FG of claiming ‘miracles’ from Property Tax cash 03/06/17

| June 3, 2017
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A major political row has erupted at Co. Council level between Sinn Fein and the controlling group on the authority, made up of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, over the actual benefits being delivered by the 5% increase in Property Tax voted through in last year’s budget.
The Sinn Fein attack follows a repeated shooting down of proposals from their councillors with their lack of support for the tax increase being cited regularly as the reason their suggestions do not merit support.
Now the group of five Sinn Fein council members have launched a stinging attack on their opponents claiming that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael members were continually multiplying the benefits of the tax hike. ‘It seems there is nothing it cannot do’, they charged suggesting that the councillors could be candidates for Sainthood when Pope Francis visits Ireland next year, such are the miracles they are suggesting they are performing with the cash raised by the tax.   
The monthly portrayal of the 5% increase in the L.P.T.  by some councillors as a panacea for the county’s economic problems and trumpeted as the source of funding for projects such as the Gorey’s Hatch Lab and Gorey Town Park redevelopment is simply dishonest spin. The Family Home Tax/ LPT increase has generated six hundred and six thousand euro – four hundred thousand of which will help support 14 major projects. However, the cost theses projects is at least 15.75 million euro. So the public can do the maths, the statement added
 
‘We all agree that extra revenue is needed, but let it be done fairly and let our council be properly funded by central government. Some councillors seem to think that others are not entitled to hold different opinions on the models of local government funding. 
Thats fine in the cut and thrust of politics. However, local politics reached a new low this month when a genuine attempt to address the mental health issue was turned into a political football in a most pathetic attempt to opportunistically score points against another political party on the Property Tax issue’, the councillors added.
 
‘Such is the farcical fixation by certain Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors on Sinn Féin’s principled opposition to any increase in the L.P.T. that they seem to think that this precludes us from having the right to call for any kind of infrastructural or economic development in Co. Wexford. They seem to have forgotten that the 5% increase in the LPT which they supported – the supposed panacea to all our ills – represents just a tiny percentage of the overall council budget – almost all of which Sinn Féin councillors were happy to support. 
The statement hit out directly at two North Wexford councillors, Malcolm Byrne and John Hegarty. It said Byrne had promised to oppose the tax during the last local election but then voted to support it after the poll. And it added ‘another inconvenient truth is that his party promised at the 2014 Wexford County Council Budget that they would push for a reduction in the Home Tax. Instead of keeping the promise to reduce it they voted to actually increase it’
While they accused Hegarty’s Fine Gael party of being responsible for many of the ills of the Council as a result of the policies pursued by government. 
Sinn Fein claimed that the recovery of just 15% of the development levies owed to the local authority by developers would actually pay for a 15% Property Tax Reduction for up to three years. Wexford Co. Council is owed more than €36m in upaid development fees——–the fifth highest level of outstanding fees in the country.

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