I propose to take Questions Nos. 58 and 732 together.
It is important that appropriate supports are available to councillors to carry out their functions.
In that regard, I introduced, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, an allowance of €1,000 per annum for members of municipal districts and area committees with effect from 1 July 2017 to reflect their additional workload following the local government reforms of 2014. At the same time, I introduced a new vouched annual expenses allowance of up to €5,000 per annum that councillors may opt for in place of the existing unvouched fixed rate annual allowance of approximately €2,500. In addition, the representational allowance for councillors will increase in line with the reversal of pay cuts under the FEMPI Acts and increases under the Public Service Stability Agreement.
The question of ensuring that supports for councillors are sustainable and appropriate into the future will be considered further.