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Galway County Council Statement
Galway County Council has identified a substantial number of programmes which must now be withheld in order to allow the Council achieve a balanced budget for 2012 following the recent notification of a reduction of €3.1 million in the Council’s Local Government Grant for the current year.
The reduction in funding to the Council reflects the level of compliance achived to date in relation to payment of the Household Charge and in particular the fact that approximately 44% of the Householders in the County of Galway have yet to pay their Household Charge.
‘The proposed reduction in allocation will result in unpalatable cut to Local Services and communities.’ says Ger Mullarkey, the Council’s Head of Finance. The programmes identified to date as having to be withheld include:
- Suspension of housing grants to older people and people with disabilities
- Withholding grants for various community initiatives including, burial ground maintenance, amenity grants, community and enterprise grants
- Suspension of expenditure on library books
- Reduction in resources across a broad range of front-line service areas including:
- Litter control
- Housing Maintenance
- Road maintenance including pothole repairs and verge trimming
- Bridge maintenance
- Maintenance of public conveniences
- Suspension of land drainage works
- Funding for tourism projects
- Funding to community projects (RAPID) in Tuam and Ballinasloe
- Potential delay in recently announced Major Capital Water Services projects.
- Fire Service
The council regrets the need to introduce these cuts and in particular the impact such cuts will have on the 56% of households who have paid their Household Charge. However, in the absence of compliance by some householders with the legal requirement to pay the Household Charge, there is no alternative.
The letter received from the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government does however suggest that local authorities may progressively regain their original level of funding if those households who have not yet paid their Household Charge do so.
At a recent meeting of Galway County Council, the Councillors passed a motion requesting those people who have not yet paid the Household Charge to do so now.
The Council acknowledges that more than 56% of the Householders in Galway have paid the charge, which is much appreciated and urges those householders who have not yet paid, to do so immediately, in order that the impact of the cuts on local services and communities can be minimised.
How to pay the Household Charge?
Online - www.householdcharge.ie - by credit card/debit card or by Direct Debit.
By Post: Registration forms are available online; Post Offices; City/County Councils; Libraries; Citizen Information Centres or Lo Call 1890 357357. Payment can be made by cheque/postal order/bank draft made payable to “Household Charge". Send form with payment to: Household Charge, P.O Box12168, Dublin 1.
Local Authority: In the Offices of Galway County Council, Áras an Chontae, Prospect Hill, Galway
Galway County Council has recently been notified of a revised allocation of Local Government Grant for the current year, resulting in a reduction of €3.1m. The Circular points out the requirement on Local Authorities to achieve a balanced budget, taking into account the reduced income. It is therefore necessary to reforecast expenditure for the remainder of the year to achieve balance.
The allocation has been adjusted, based on the level of compliance achieved to date in relation to payment of the Household Charge. The Council acknowledges that more than 56% of the Householders in Galway have paid the charge, which is much appreciated. The Circular received suggests that local authorities may progressively recoup their original allocation through improved household charge compliance.
An owner of a residential property who does not pay a Household Charge or an instalment thereof by the due date will be subject to Late Payment Interest and Late Payment Fees. The Late payment interest of 1% per month or part thereof will apply to unpaid amounts. The late payment fee to apply in the case of a Household Charge paid:
- not later than 6 months after the due date, is 10% of the amount outstanding;
- later than 6 months and not later than 12 months after the due date, is 20 % of the amount outstanding; or
- later than 12 months after the due date, is 30 % of the amount outstanding
Furthermore, both the €100 charge and any accumulated late payment fee will be a charge against the property concerned and will continue to be such for twelve years after the charge or late payment penalties concerned became due. Any Household Charges or late payment penalties due on a residential property will have to be discharged, in full, before a transfer or sale of the property can be completed.The Council has commenced a campaign aimed at ensuring the 44% of households who have yet to pay their Household Charge do so and this campaign will be intensified over the coming weeks.