Council penalised €1.3m for low house tax returns
Longford County Council has been penalised for low household tax returns by having its budget for the year slashed by 12pc.
County manager Tim Caffrey revealed last night that the county's Local Government Fund allocation is being cut by €1.3m.
This represents a 12pc cut to its overall budget and is being imposed due to lower than expected payment of the household charge in the county.
"This is an astounding figure to have cut from your budget seven months into the year. There is no way we can deal with this. We will have to contest this strongly at national level," Mr Caffrey told councillors.
It is believed other councils are this week receiving similar notification of the cuts they are facing.
"It is unfair to hit this local authority with such a cut as we have gone overboard in our attempts to collect the household charge. Some people are just not paying it, and I don't think we should be penalised," Mr Caffrey added.
According to the figures used to justify the cut, just over 53pc of households in Longford have paid the charge as of last weekend.