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Funds survive cut as 70pc pay household tax

DUBLIN City Council will not lose out on State funding after the authority met Phil Hogan's strict Household Charge targets, the Herald can reveal.

Councillors have expressed widespread relief after City Manager John Tierney announced that more than 69pc of Dublin householders have registered to pay the €100 levy.

There had been fears that the authority would not reach a 65pc compliance rate -- the demand set last month by Minister Hogan.

Any council that fails to reach the target will face the prospect of having significant amounts of the Local Government Fund grant being withheld.

However in an email to public representatives, Mr Tierney says that some 69.4pc of householders have registered to pay the charge.

It states: "No further adjustment will be made to payment to Dublin City Council as payment compliance in respect of the Household Charge is greater than 65pc."



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Independent councillor Damian O'Farrell said that, while it was a relief there will be no further adjustments to the council's funding levels, Minister Hogan's 'threat' should not have been made in the first place.

"It's with great relief that we have learned that vital community services will not be cut any further, because they have been cut to the bone as it is.

"We're bracing ourselves for an extremely tough Budget and that is sure to take its toll on the council's individual budget.

"However, it is not right in my view that a minister would make such a threat, especially given that we as councillors are being told all the time how tight budgets are.

"People of this city have already seen services cut drastically," he added.

Dublin's ability to reach the set target is not mirrored by all local authorities: Donegal, Offaly, Louth, Laois and Meath county councils are all at risk of losing out.

Mr Hogan said previously that withholding portions of the grant was being done to incentivise councils to do all they could to collect the household charge.

The move, however, was strongly criticised by anti-household charge groups.

hnews@herald.ie


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