Historic budget adoipted after eight hour marathon meeting

Budget adopted for 2015 after an eight hour marathon meeting in Nenagh.

Budget adopted for 2015 after an eight hour marathon meeting in Nenagh.

Tipperary County Council will spent more than 2.6 million Euro per week in the county in 2015 in an historic 139 million Euro Budget which was presented to members of the local authority this week.

The massive Budget which sees 30% alone going on roads, transportation and safety was discussed in full at an eight hour long meeting of the council in Nenagh on Monday and raised quite a few issues. Indeed, such was the detail and scale of the budget that Cllr Seamus Morris sought to have the meeting adjourned to allow for workshops to take place instead and another date to be set for the formal adoption of the estimates. This was ruled out by Chairman, Cllr Michael Fitzgerald who said that there had been ample time for consultation and discussion if councillors had wished to do so.

This was the first Budget under the new amalgamated local authority banner and while there has been much made of the collection and expenditure of the local property tax in Tipperary, it it not the single largest item of income for the county at 23.3 million Euro (16.82%). Commercial rates are still largely funding the running of the council with a projected 30.3 million Euro (21.85%) expected to accrue in 2015. The council also expects to draw down collective grants from central Government to the tune of 28% - a very significant sum which spans a number of departments to form a portion of the income analysis.

While the commercial rates will remain the same for 2015 as they were in 2014 across the board, there will be a sharp increase for rate payers in the former Nenagh, Templemore, Tipperary and Carrick-on-Suir Town Councils as rate harmonisation kicks in for the 2016 Budget. This new rate will be 56.77 and will mean an increase from 50.99 for Carrick-on-Suir, 52.20 for Tipperary, 53.90 for Templemore, and 55.68 for Nenagh - the council has a nine year window to harmonise the commercial rates.

Tipperary County Council is planning on spending almost 41million Euro on roads, transportation and safety in 2015, while housing and building will account for 28.14million Euro of the Budget. Water services will be responsible for 15.5 million Euro. There is also a 2.5million Euro allocation made for members payments, expenses, conferences and support services.

Chief Executive Officer Mr Joe MacGrath told members that while economic indicators point to a recovering Ireland, local factors give rise to disparities in the rate of recovery across the country and within county Tipperary. And, he outlined the councils intention to adopt ‘a prudent balanced budget approach to the management of finances and budgetary control.”

“The budget assures the continued delivery of local services across the county while actively promoting and assisting economic development and contributing positively to the quality of life in our local communities,” Mr MacGrath said.

Councillor Jim Ryan had attempted to introduce a year long two hour free parking charge on Saturday’s in all towns in the county, but this was not accepted. Councillor Pat English opposed the adoption of the Budget as ‘another austerity budget’ while Cllr Ciaran Burke expressed concern about the implications of rate harmonisation on his home town of Carrick on Suir over the next few years.

The budget was formally adopted by Cllr Mary Hannah-Hourigan and seconded by Cllr Roger Kennedy.