Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 23 Feb 1977

Vol. 297 No. 2

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Rates Waiver Scheme.


asked the Minister for Local Government the local authorities which are not implementing the rates waiver scheme.

Last year 15 of the 87 rating authorities did not adopt rates waiver schemes. These were the county councils of Carlow, Kildare, Leitrim, Mayo and Roscommon and the urban district councils of Athy, Ballinasloe, Bundoran, Carlow, Castlebar, Clonakilty, Ennis, Kilrush, Naas and Skibbereen.

The position should be very much improved this year as a consequence of the Government's decision to provide an extra £2 million to improve and extend the existing system of rates waivers and to encourage those local authorities which have so far failed to operate a scheme to do so in 1977. In the light of the Exchequer contribution I am hoping that all authorities will implement rates waiver schemes this year.

Does the Minister propose to make the rates waiver scheme compulsory?

Then the citizens concerned must await our return to Government——

No. It does not mean that. When Fianna Fáil were in Government they did not do it.

——which will be in a relatively short space of time.

A promise about these things given after 16 years in office when they did nothing does not count for anything.

We introduced the waiver scheme.

As far as the rates waiver scheme is concerned, I believe the local authorities, the elected representatives of the people, should administer it, and I am appealing to them to put into operation a rates waiver scheme now that they are getting £2 million from the Government to do it.

How does the Minister propose to allocate this extra £2 million, or is there a time limit within which local authorities will have to apply?

Anybody applying to the local authorities for a rates waiver must have their arrangements made fairly quickly, and I would assume— I cannot give the Deputy the exact details—that within about two months we should know precisely what rates waiver is being offered and how much Exchequer money will be required to meet the cost of giving the rates waiver. I would also assume—and again I do not want to be tied to this— the fairest way would be to give £ for £ for rates waiver to any local authority.