Thursday, 12 November 2015

Wicklow County Council to suffer loss of €362,276 due to revaluation of utilities – Cllr John Brady

Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady has hit out at the Government for allowing a substantial hit to the budgets of local authorities, due to the significant downward valuation of utilities, including many private and profitable companies. This has had the effect of reducing the contribution by companies such as Vodafone, Meteor, 3Ireland, BT Ireland, Eircom and ESB to the tune of €21m.

This means a loss of €362,276 for Wicklow County Council.

Councillor Brady said;

“This is an extraordinary situation, that the valuations office, when many small businesses are struggling, would decide to gift a massive cut in rates, to some of the largest utilities and companies. I understand the cuts vary between 20-40%, which is enormous.

“This means a loss of €362,276 for Wicklow County Council.

“This could have been used to put into services, in terms of Housing, Business supports, Tourism, funding.

“The overall tourism budget in Wicklow is €330,442 so the loss is €32,000 more than that allocation.

“Some of these companies are immensely profitable. Vodafone has a pre tax profit of €100m last year. I believe that many small business owners, who are used to seeing upwards valuations, would be deeply frustrated to see much larger businesses getting such a generous rates cut.

“This Government, as with the last, raided Local Government time and time again, which meant housing, roads, footpaths, and so on, all suffered. Now, the valuations office is coming back for more, despite how profitable these companies are.”

“The Minister and the valuation office need to make clear on what basis this was given.”

“It furthermore hugely underlines the need to reform totally the archaic, 19th Century Rating system. Rates should take more account of Profit, not square footage.”

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