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Local Government Fund expenditure estimated at €1.21bn this year

The General Purpose Grant that funds the day-to-day activities of local councils has been steadily falling for most councils for the last three years.

Dublin City Council offices.
Dublin City Council offices.
Image: Photocall Ireland

THE DEPARTMENT FOR the Environment, Community and Local Government’s contribution to local authorities towards meeting their costs for services has been falling for the majority of councils over the last three years.

The funding, known as general purpose grants, are a special central fund which was established under the Local Government Act 1999.

In reply to a parliamentary question, the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said the estimated expenditure for the Local Government Fund in 2013 is €1.21 billion.

He said this included €640.09 million for “general purpose payments” to local authorities and also included €407.9 million for Road and Public Transport Infrastructure payments.

€61.5 million relates to miscellaneous schemes like the group water subsidies, waste water projects and the operating costs of vehicle registration offices.

Day-to-day activities

The fund is financed by the full proceeds of motor tax and an Exchequer contribution and provides local authorities with the finance for general discretionary funding of their day-to-day activities.

In a parliamentary question, Kevin Humphreys TD asked Minister Phil Hogan for a breakdown of the amount each Local Authority received in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively from the local government fund general purpose grant.

The table below details the final general purpose grant payments from the Local Government Fund to all local authorities for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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If you cannot view this figures please click here.

Councils

The figures show that some of the larger councils, like Dublin City Council had there fund cut from  €60,023,920 in 2011, to €54,009,434 in 2012, to €52,613,531 this year.

Meanwhile, Galway County Council had its fund cut from €30,013,322 in 2011 to €27,400,744 in 2013.

Cork County Council also had its fund fall from €36,601,88 in 2011 to €32, 216,090 in 2013.

Grants

The second table below relates to a number of grants that are granted to Local Authorities for a variety of purposes. The majority of the payments are for group water schemes and grants towards the operation and maintenance of new water treatment plants.

These are the funds that have been drawn down to date at the beginning of November:

imageMunicipal Authorities

There are big changes coming down the line for Local Authorities as town and county councils are to be abolished around the country and transferred to Municipal Authorities.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has said plans to reform local government will save the taxpayer €420 million over the next four years.

Local Authorities have been issued with a guidance brief for the handover.

All staff, files, administrative functions and computer systems must be transferred by 1 June next year.

Local Authorities have been told that there will be no extra funding or staff allocated to councils to undertakes these tasks.

Read: Council of Europe report criticises power of local government in Ireland>

Read: Dublin’s 53 extra councillors will cost €1.5 million every year>

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