Donegal County Council meets to consider Budget 2014

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County house
Donegal County Council meets in Lifford today to discuss its budget for 2014, with officials proposing a rates freeze while businesses argue for a reduction.
Today’s meeting comes as the Dail discusses legislation to formally establish Irish Water, which is due to take over the council’s responsibility for water services from January 1st.
County Manager Seamus Nealy is proposing to freeze rates and rents this year, with spending of just over 138 million euro envisaged.
He and Finance Director Garry Martin will make presentations to members this morning and recommend that they accept the budget for 2014. However, it’s unlikely to have an easy passage, with many councillors believing an adjournment until the new year is inevitable.
One pressure point is the recently formed Donegal Business Rates Reducton Campaign, which is seeking a rates reduction of 25%, and is threatening a rates boycott if that is not secured.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan has confirmed a General Purpose grant of just under 54 million euro for Donegal County Council in 2014, 6.6 million up last year’s figure. However, there is uncertainty over how the transition to Irish Water in two weeks time will impact on the councils finances.
 

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