Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Ceisteanna (353)

Charlie O'Connor


478 Mr. O'Connor asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the plans for increased funding for local government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2818/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

The funding made available to local authorities through general purpose grants from the local government fund has grown to record levels over the past few years. I have allocated a total of €751.66 million for such grants in 2004. This amount represents an increase of 14% over the corresponding allocation for last year and is some 121% higher than the initial allocations for 1997. These grants are of course in addition to other specific state grants for roads, water services and so on.

While the local government fund based system of funding has clearly served local authorities well, to ensure the continued development and improvement of the local government system, I intend that an independent review of the financing of local government will shortly be launched which will examine the funding options to meet the needs of local authorities into the future.