Green Party Communications | 25.03.2012 | Back to News Archive | Back to News
Council Staff should not be sent out to clean up Hogan’s mess.
Local Authority staff should not be asked to call to households in the state to register them or collect the household charge. The Green Party has severely criticized Environment Minister Phil Hogan for suggesting that Local Authorities would be called upon to clean up a mess of his creation. ‘Local Authorities throughout the country are already under strain due to understaffing and expecting these authorities to allocate officials to register households could put staff in danger due to the level of anger that exists about how this charge was devised’ said Green Party Spokesperson for Environment, Community and Local Government, Cllr Malcolm Noonan.
‘Minister Hogan has drastically cut the Local Government Fund in 2012 and now expects Local Authority staff to call door to door to collect revenue to keep them in a job. This is an appalling indictment of the scant regard Minister Hogan has for the work of Local Authorities’ he said.
‘The Green Party is in favour of a more sustainable and equitable means of funding local government, particularly one that is decoupled from property development. However the household charge will not bring in anything close to targeted revenue largely because of a failure by Government to inform the public about the importance of local authorities within local communities; library services, fire services, community development, economic development. It’s not just about roads, water and waste management. Revenue collected locally should stay within that local authority area. If targets aren’t met, then services at a local level will be cut and Local Authorities will have to bring in supplementary budgets’ he said.
Cllr Noonan maintained that scaremongering by the Anti Tax campaign as well as by the Minister himself, has frightened many old and vulnerable people and is leading many others to believe that the Anti Tax campaign will protect them from penalties and interest. ‘This has been one of the most divisive campaigns in recent memory and Minister Hogan’s position will be untenable if revenue falls well below target as now seems most likely. His Report Card is already registering an ‘F’ he concluded.
Cllr Malcolm Noonan
Green Party Spokesperson
Environment, Community and Local Government
086 839 9418