Longford County Council to shell out close to €50m over next 12 months

Budget 2020: Property tax hikes, increases in LGF grants and commercial rates to swell council coffers

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Large sum of money found and handed in by good samaritan in Carlow

Longford County Council has pledged to shell out almost €50m next year in what has has been described as its most progressive and pro-business budget in recent memory.

More than €48m has been set aside across eight service divisions between now and the end of next year as local authority chiefs look to cash in on improving macro-ecomomic conditions and increased revenue channels from the likes of the Local Property Tax (LPT), central government funding and commercial rate returns.

In keeping with previous years, roads and housing make up the bulk of estimated expenditure streams, accounting for over €20m between the two divisions.

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Longford County Council Chief Executive Paddy Mahon said there was no secret to the reasons behind the county's improved fiscal position.

He pointed to what he termed as the council's own “prudent financial management” as well as “ the leadership and vision” of its elected members as catalysts for such an upturn.

“The fact that 18 other counties have followed Longford County Council's lead in 2019 for Budget 2020 is full testament to the success of the 'Longford Model'”, he said.

Despite those positive soundings, Mr Mahon alluded to the many hurdles local authorities like Longford will undoubtedly face over the course of the next 12 months.

“As we enter the new decade, Longford County Council is continually challenged to ensure that the appropriate resources are in place to meet the needs and demands of the communities in County Longford in an era of revitalising rural Ireland, Brexit, the need for climate adaptation and an enduring national housing crisis,” he said.

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