I assume that the Question refers to general purpose grants from the Local Government Fund. General purpose grants are my Department’s contribution towards meeting the cost to local authorities of providing a reasonable level of services to their customers. Some €640 million in general purpose grants has been allocated to local authorities for 2013. I am satisfied that the general purpose allocations provided for 2013, together with the income available from other sources, will enable local authorities to provide a reasonable level of services to their customers.
Local authorities cost and income bases vary significantly from one another and calculating an appropriate distribution of these grants is complex. General purpose grants from the Local Government Fund are structured to bring about equalisation over time; that is a position of balance where the financial needs of local authorities are met by their resources and they are able to provide an appropriate level of service to their customers. In determining these grants a number of factors are taken into account including the overall funding available for this purpose, the estimated cost to each authority of providing a reasonable level of services to their customers, the income each authority should generate from local sources and the necessity to provide each authority with a baseline allocation that will support its financial stability.