Wednesday 22 January 2020

Gormley hints city mayor will have taxation power

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley last night held out the possibility that the new directly elected mayor for Dublin will be able to raise his/her own taxes.

Mr Gormley said there would be a "substantial" budget of €2.5bn available -- referring to the combined annual budgets of all the councils.

The new mayor will be able to direct, as policy, that a council spend 10pc of its budget on social housing, for example.

And despite not having his own budget, the new mayor will be consulted on the spending plans of Dublin's four councils.

The councils will also be legally bound to follow the policy plans laid down by the mayor in areas like transport, planning, waste and housing.

The exact input the mayor will have into transport in the capital is still unclear.

Labour's Ruairi Quinn, the favourite to win any mayoral election, which is likely to be held this autumn, said that control over transport was key.

"If you can't integrate the transportation with the land-use planning then you've really only got half of the cake," Mr Quinn said.

"It's very hard to see how you can have the power to direct bodies who have a budget of their own if you don't have a countervailing budget or if the office doesn't have financial powers."

Mr Quinn did not rule out running for the position and said that the Labour Party supported the proposals.

Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald said yesterday that she hadn't even thought about running for the position yet.

Irish Independent

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