BY THE end of September, some 63 per cent of households in Fingal had paid the controversial household charge but the council must get that figure above 65 per cent to avoid further cuts this year in its funding from central Government.
Answering a question on the issue from Cllr. Darragh Butler (FF), the council revealed: ' The number of households in Fingal that have paid the Household Charge as of September 28, 2012 stands at 56,945, representing 63 per cent of households liable.' The implications of that figure for the council's funding was explained in a Department of the Environment circular sent to local authorities around the country. The circular confirms that a deduction of funding to the council of €545,285 in quarter three of this year will not be reviewed further.
The quarter four allocation of €5.1m is now to be paid in two installments to the council with the first installment representing half of the initial (unadjusted) Q4 installment i.e. €2.55m, which was received on September 26. The second installment is to be paid in mid-November and will be half of the initial (unadjusted) Q4 installment less a deduction reflecting Household Charge compliance in each county area at that date. For county and city councils with compliance rates greater than 65 per cent, no further deduction will be made this year but for county and city councils with compliance rates between 60-65 per cent, a further deduction equal to 0.5 per cent of the initial 2012 GPG allocation will be made.
For county and city councils with compliance rates below 60 per cent, a further deduction equal to one per cent of the initial 2012 GPG allocation will be made. A 0.5 per cent deduction on our Local Government Fund allocation to Fingal County Council would equate to €102,000. The local authority said: ' The compliance levels relating to the Household Charge are increasing as Local Authorities step up the collection process and as the late payment fees and interest penalties for non payment increases. ' The council will continue to make every effort possible to maximize collection of the Household Charge.'