Local authorities derive their income from a variety of sources, both locally raised and from central government. Elected members have direct responsibility in law for all reserved functions of the authority, which includes adopting the annual budget. It is a matter for each local authority to determine its own spending priorities in the context of the annual budgetary process, having regard to both locally identified needs and the resources available.
Central government funding to local authorities presents a complicated picture, with transfers from a wide range of Departments and Offices, not solely from my Department, for various purposes. Some streams of funding are delivered directly from funding Departments to local authorities, while others are routed through Departmental agencies. The Comptroller and Auditor General reports on the central government funding of local authorities as part of his annual report, which provides an overview of the funds flowing from and through central government sources to local authorities and the purposes for which funds have been provided. Across all schemes and funding sources my Department provided €31.8m to Monaghan County Council in 2018 and €40.1m in 2019.
At the current time, all local authorities are experiencing financial challenges. In order to support the local government sector generally, my Department continues to keep local authority income, expenditure and cash flow generally under review and will continue to work with all local authorities on both collective and individual issues that arise.