Council Budget – Labour And Fine Gael Implement Cuts To Services...

By Cllr Brid Smith, People Before Profit Alliance. Labour and Fine Gael claim to be in opposition to the Government. Yet even though they have a majority on Dublin City Council, they had no problem passing on cuts in this year’s budget. The government has cut funding to the City Council this year by 6.3%. This amounts to a 20% cut in funding to the biggest council in the country since 2008.

This gives elected councillors a choice – to cut funding to housing, local amenities and services, to increase bin charges, rents and others OR to stand up to the Government.

No prizes for guessing which choice was made.

This budget abolished the waiver for bin collection for everybody on social welfare. It increased bin charges for the rest by 5%. In July the Council will impose VAT on all charges including bins by either 13.5% or 21%.

On top of this the budget for the fire service was cut. Funding to the BASE youth project in Ballyfermot was cut. And council rents for subsidiary earners was increased.

The same budget cut the rates for businesses by 2.4% and gave a further hand out to developers by cutting capital spending on social housing and giving extra to the council to lease property from developers. And all council workers have had their pay cut by over 17% in the last year.

Youth Projects in Dublin are under threat of further budget cuts.

 
Dublin Focus on Youth are calling on politicians and public officials to put a stop to these cuts. Please support the campaign & the protest on Wednesday. Read about: Campaign launched to save Shanganagh and Rathsallagh Youth Centre

The Current Situation
•Youth Projects serve the needs of the most at risk young people across our city.

•A total of 33,790 young people participated in CDYSB funded youth projects in Dublin in 2008

•It costs €20 million per year keep these projects funded.

•This works out at less than €12 per young person per week

•Youth Projects and Services help young people achieve their potential and are essential to creating and maintaining healthy communities.

What we are looking for

•An immediate reversal of the 2009 cuts to Youthwork funding
•Funding for Youthwork projects and services to be maintained at 2008 levels for 2010 in order to maintain all frontline services to the most at risk young people in Dublin

More Pain For the Public As VAT to be Levied on...

Eu Neo-Liberal Policies To Mean VAT On On Council Services From July.

In a statement the People Before Profit Alliance (PBPA) has condemned a recent ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which means that VAT will now be imposed on all local authority services for which there is a charge.

The PBPA statement follows a recent meeting of the Dublin City Council Finance Special Policy Committee, (SPC) where it was revealed that a case taken by the EU commission to the ECJ on the issue of Ireland’s failure to impose VAT on publicly provided services would mean VAT would have to be imposed on such services from now on.

The meeting revealed that local authorities are currently working with the revenue commissioners, compiling a list of Council services where VAT would be applied. It is intended that any changes in VAT law resulting from the Judgement will be brought forward in March/April in the Finance Bill 2010 with a likely implementation date of July 2010.

Report on Dublin City Council Budget Meeting

At the Dublin City Council Budget meeting on 21 December 2009, Killian Forde proposed the budget as Chair of the Finance SPC and voted in favour of it. As a Sinn Fein member he was apparently, in breach of his party’s mandate. The most controversial content of the budget was the removal of the waiver for social welfare recipients of the waiver on bin lifts (the waiver remains on the standing charge of €95 per annum).

Sinn Fein says he went against the party mandate on the budget given their opposition to the removal of the waiver but this is not the first time that SF councillors voted in differing ways on the budget. In the past a number of their councillors voted for and others against the same budget, all of which contained bin charges. It seems though that this has been a step too far and Forde has resigned from the party saying he would be guilty of “chancery” if he voted against this budget.

Local residents and tenants groups protest at official court opening



Today, Saturday, January 16th, around 50 people took part in an angry protest outside, at the officially opening of the doors of the new Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street, which was attended by the President Mary McAleese and the Lord Mayor, Emer Costello.
The Public Private Partnership project’s total cost is set to be close to €300 million.Yet the message from this from the government is clear to the people of nearby O’Devaney Gardens- they will not get new housing. While the Fianna Fail/ Green Party coalition government is willing to spend millions on a courts complex, it won’t spend anything on decent housing for ordinary people.

Last year, developers pulled out of a PPP deal with Dublin City Council leaving local residents of O’Devaney Gardens – and those in the St Michael’s Estate, Dominic Street and Croke Villas communities – high and dry because, as one developer, McNamara said, the housing downturn and the economic slump had “rendered these projects unviable”. When the private partner is afraid they won’t make enough money, they just pull out with minimal consequences.

GOVERNMENT FAILURE TO INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE HAS CREATED CURRENT WATER CRISIS

In a statement, the People Before Profit Alliance (PBPA) has said that systematic failure on the part of the government to invest in upgrading the water infrastructure, despite knowledge of its perilous condition, is the real reason that the water system has been plunged into crisis by recent weather conditions.
 
PBPA said the government have been fully aware over recent years of the need to urgently replace water mains across the country with modern and more robust piping and to increase reservoir capacity but had simply failed to provide the resources to do this.
Cllr Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The massive hardship now being experienced by hundreds of thousands of people – particularly families with children and the elderly – is not the unfortunate result of extreme weather conditions; it is the result of systemic government failure.
The government are dishonestly suggesting that the current water crisis is purely the result of freak weather conditions or because of householders irresponsibly running taps. This is pure hypocrisy and dishonesty.