Minister Noonan welcomes colleagues' announcement of commercial rates rebate of €4,291,000 for Carlow County Council and €5,781,404 for Kilkenny County Council
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Planning and Local Government Peter Burke TD have written to the Chief Executives of Carlow County Council and Kilkenny County Council to reiterate the Government’s support for local government.
The Ministers sent the joint letter as the second tranche of commercial rates rebates were issued to local authorities across the country. Carlow County Council has so far received €4,291,000 with further payments to issue, while Kilkenny County Council has so far received €5,781,404 with further payments to issue.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State Malcolm Noonan thanked his colleagues Ministers O’Brien and Burke for working as a team to ensure that Local Authorities will receive a full rebate given the impact of Covid-19 on the Council funds.
“I would like to take the opportunity to commend Kilkenny and Carlow County Councils for the incredible way they have responded to the pandemic, from social distancing infrastructure through to the immense work behind Community Call, and many less obvious measures in between. Today’s announcement of a full rebate of income lost due to the waiver of commercial rates is an important step forwards.”
As part of the July Stimulus programme a €600m commercial rates waiver was announced for businesses impacted by COVID-19. This covered 100% of commercial rates from the end of March to the end of September. As part of Budget 2021 a further €300m commercial rates waiver was announced to cover rates to the end of the year.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “The €900m commercial rates waiver will mean that the local government sector won’t be at a loss or having to make ‘either’ ‘or’ decisions when it comes to providing vital services for people.
“We are very aware that commercial rates are the backbone of local authority income which means that services such as playgrounds, sports facilities and library services can keep operating. We want to ensure that local authorities continue their important work and Government have not been and will not be found wanting in respect to support for the sector.
“We will continue to work with our colleague Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to support local authorities meet costs and income losses that have arisen as a direct consequence of the pandemic. I would like to take this opportunity to commend all our local authorities for the exceptional leadership they has shown through their response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister Peter Burke added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on every facet of life and the response of local government to date has been phenomenal. Whether through the Community Call Fora or adapting their library services so people could continue to enjoy them, local authorities have adapted swiftly and innovatively to the situation. “As local authorities begin to engage in their 2021 budgetary process they do so in the knowledge
that Government has supported them with a commitment of just under one billion euro in
commercial rates rebates. As Minister with special responsibility for local government I will continue to advocate for and work on behalf of local authorities across the country to ensure they can continue to provide key services at the heart of our communities,” he concluded.