Three South Dublin County Council councillors have come together to criticise the finalised budget for 2022.
Councillors Madeleine Johansson, People Before Profit Councillor for Palmerstown-Fonthill electoral area, Kieran Mahon, Socialist Party member and Solidarity Councillor for Tallaght-Central and Leah Whelan, Solidarity and Socialist Party member for Tallaght South, circulated a press release expressing disappointment at decisions made in the budget.
The release stated: “While the actions that can be taken within the budget are limited, we believe that a substantial change in strategy is both desirable and possible. Ordinary people are facing substantial increases in the cost of living with fuel prices, bills and more significantly housing costs going through the roof.”
The three councillors described local property tax as “deeply unfair” and spoke against the continued rise in rent for council tenants, including for those in receipt of the state pension.
“At the same time, the major corporations located in South Dublin County are left untouched. We proposed to tackle this unfairness by increasing rates by 50 per cent for rate payers above the €100,000 Annual Rates Billing Band. This measure would raise an additional revenue of approximately €28.8 million for the council and affect just the top 2.3 per cent of corporations.
“Pfizer, based in Clondalkin within walking distance of some of the areas most impacted by austerity and neglect, are reportedly set to make €33bn in 2021 from the Covid-19 vaccine. Likewise, Amazon in Tallaght continues to reap massive global profits while exploiting Ireland’s corporate tax haven, the environment and local labour.
“Instead of being left unchallenged this funding could be used to provide a range of additional services in the county as well as increasing staffing levels in the council to deal with the crisis in housing, the environment and wider public services,” the councillors asserted.
The release continued: “It’s disappointing that councillors who call themselves left wing criticise policies like Housing First and the government’s Climate Action Bill in the national media but then accept it locally without a whimper.”