Fingal County Council have proposed a rate increase of 3.5% in 2009 which will hit small businesses hard in these depressing economic times.
Despite the huge growth of Fingal in the last number of years, nearing 20%, the local government Fund provided by the Fianna Fail/Green Government for the provision of services to everyone in Fingal has been reduced by over 7% for 2009.
Councillors must vote each December to introduce a budget for their local authority. The proposed increase of 3.5% will make it even more difficult for small businesses to stay afloat in these testing economic times.
The rate increase is very unpalatable to me and I will be looking at alternatives prior to the vote on December 8th.
The reduction in the local government fund will require the Council to squeeze every last penny out of our their rate base. As part of the budget process, the Council have not proposed to increase Bin collection charges despite this resulting in a loss for your local authority. This stay on a prices was negotiation while I was serving as Mayor in December 2007.
It will become increasingly clear in the new year what services the council currently proposes to axe following this reduction. Areas such as Roads, Lighting, Open Space Maintenance can and will be effected by these cuts.