Cork County Council members were today to debate the decision by the Minister for the Environment to cut its annual budget grant by almost €4m.
Councillors, including those from Minister Phil Hogan’s own party Fine Gael, have slammed the decision with former county mayor Tim Lombard calling the decision outrageous.
The Department of the Environment said that as full household charge compliance had not yet been achieved, Minister Hogan has had to revise the payment profile of general purpose grants to local authorities.
General purpose grants provide local authorities with the finance for day-to-day activities and non-national roads, and funding for local government initiatives. The department said that the final quarter payment for 2012 would be revisited in light of the Household Charge compliance level.
The Local Government Management Agency revealed this month that 957,733 had registered for the household charge nationally. There are €1.6 million households eligible. Figures released by Minister Hogan in May showed 42% in Cork city and 39% in Cork county had paid the €100.
Cllr Lombard said: “Cork County Council had nothing to do with how the household charge was collected yet we are being punished. It is outrageous and will cause huge heartache for people across the county.”