Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady has hit back at Fianna Fáil Councillor Pat Vance after he made a number of false statements on local radio this week relating to the Local Property Tax and the setting of the rate for Wicklow.
Councillor Brady said "There is a saying never let the truth get in the way of a good story and Fianna Fáil Councillor Pat Vance is a master at this. Councillor Vance who is very quick to remind people that he is the most experienced Councillor in Wicklow has either been caught telling blatant lies or he has shown his complete lack of knowledge on the issue of the Local Property Tax and that in fact he was bluffing his way on local radio".
The Sinn Féin Councillor went on "The issue arose this week on local radio during a discussion about the farcical public consultation process around the setting of the rate for the Local Property Tax for 2015. The legislation allows for a 15% increase or decrease of the unjust tax, the legislation also provides for a public consultation process. That process ends on August 25th in Wicklow. Councillor Vance who maybe should be called Pinocchio claimed that as Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Bray i have the power to set the rate in Bray and that my buddies and i could push a 15% reduction through in Bray. Cllr Vance is completely wrong in his claim, there will be one rate set for Wicklow and that will be set by the full County Council of 32 members in September. This has been confirmed by the head of finance in Wicklow and also by the Department of Fiance officials. Fianna Fáil thankfully no longer control the council in Bray, unfortunately Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and some Independent Fianna Fáil Councillors do control the County Council and ultimately they will be the ones setting the rate for the County".
"Sinn Féin have committed to abolishing the property tax if we enter Government after the next election, however at this time we are bound by legislation and the only thing we can try achieve is a reduction of the tax by the full 15% that the legislation allows for. Sinn Féin in Wicklow would like to be in a position of power to be able to reduce the unjust tax, we hold 6 seats out of 32 and we will certainly fight for it to happen. We are a party that believes in democracy and people don't want and cant afford to be carrying the burden of a few international gamblers by being forced to pay their debts. We will act on the expressed wishes of the Irish electorate, i hope Fianna Fáil also believe in democracy and act accordingly".
Cllr Brady continued "In the radio interview Cllr Vance further claimed that Sinn Féin voted for the Wicklow County Council 2014 budget and rejected the Bray Town Council one and that we are some how hypocrites. Just like the story Pinocchio this is complete fiction. The record shows clearly that Wicklow Sinn Féin voted against the budget in Wicklow County Council because the money collected from the Local Property Tax that was supposed to be spent on public services was handed over to Irish Water to install water meters. The record also shows that we voted accordingly on Bray Town Council. The interesting thing here is that the real hypocrite is Cllr Vance because he like all his Fianna Fáil buddies voted against the budget in Wicklow citing the same reasons as Sinn Féin and yet voted for the budget in Bray".
Cllr Brady concluded "The public at large are sick and tired of lies coming from politicians. Fianna Fáil over the course of the last number of years have been the party that has led to an all time low in public confidence in politicians. What we need are honest politicians that will not use fiction or lies to try tarnish the good work of others in an attempt to try get off the hook. If Fianna Fáil are a democratic party they will listen to the electorate and reduce the property tax by the 15% and not use Sinn Féin as the excuse. Fianna Fáil control Wicklow County Council with their buddies in the Old Boys club of Fine Gael and the new Independent Fianna Fáilers, they will ultimately decide what the rate of the Austerity Local Property Tax will be for Wicklow". Ends