FOLLOWING the news that Waterford City & County Council’s budget for next year would have a €3.3m leak thanks to Irish Water, Fine Gael General Election Candidate John Cummins announced this morning that Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy has granted Waterford City & County Council an additional €2 million to assist in the budgetary process “following extensive lobbying”.
“While Fine Gael is not in the pact that controls the purse strings of Waterford City and County Council, all my party colleagues put their shoulder to the wheel over the last couple of weeks and have been involved in an extensive lobbying effort to ensure the shortfall was minimised,” Cllr Cummins said. “Thankfully as a result of our efforts an additional €2 million has been given to Waterford City and County Council which puts us in a much better position than we were a couple of weeks ago.”
Cllr Cummins said that getting the budget over the line will still not be without its difficulties.
“There is nothing unusual about difficult budgets, in fact our income from Irish Water (separate to rates) has dropped by €3.2 million over the past five years while our housing maintenance budget for example has increased by €985,000 over the same period,” he said. “Difficult decisions always face the pact of the day but positions come with responsibility. Over the past decade when we were members of the controlling group we always managed to pass a balanced budget; only time will tell what will happen on Friday, November 29.