Junior Planning and Local Government Minister Peter Burke signing a letter to Longford Chief Executive Paddy Mahon
Minister for Planning and Local Government Peter Burke TD has written to the Chief Executive of Longford County Council to reiterate the Government’s support for local government.
The Minister, alongside his colleague Darragh O’Brien, sent the joint letter as the second tranche of commercial rates rebates were issued to local authorities across the country. Longford County Council has so far received €2,645,764.00 with further payments to issue.
As part of the July Stimulus programme a €600m commercial rates waiver was announced for businesses impacted by Covid-19. This covered 100% of commercial rates from April to the end of September. No rates were due by our small businesses, many of which had to close, with the Department stepping in to pay 100% of the total billed. As part of Budget 2021 a further €300m commercial rates waiver was announced to cover rates to the end of the year.
Commenting Minister Burke said, “The €900m commercial rates waiver will mean that the local government sector won’t be at a loss or having to make ‘either’ ‘or’ decisions when it comes to providing vital services for people. Having served as a Councillor and Cathaoirleach, I am familiar with the important budgetary decisions that have to be made by our Councils and the key frontline services they provide.
“I am very aware that commercial rates are the backbone of local authority income which means that services such as playgrounds, sports facilities and library services can keep operating. We want to ensure that local authorities continue their important work and Government have not been and will not be found wanting in respect to support for the sector.
“I would like to take this opportunity to commend all our local authorities for the exceptional leadership they has shown through their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have liaised directly with many Longford County Council officials over the period of the pandemic, and long before, and their commitment to the important jobs they carry out is outstanding.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on every facet of life and the response of local government to date has been phenomenal. Whether through the Community Call Fora or adapting their library services so people could continue to enjoy them, local authorities have adapted swiftly and innovatively to the situation.
“As local authorities begin to engage in their 2021 budgetary process they do so in the knowledge that Government has supported them with a commitment of just under one billion euro in commercial rates rebates. As Minister with special responsibility for local government I will continue to advocate for and work on behalf of local authorities across the country to ensure they can keep doing what they do best for all of our citizens,” he concluded.