LIMERICK City and County Councillors have passed the local authority budget by a majority.
Following a marathon nine hour meeting at County Hall, the budget - which contains spending cuts of around €17m - was passed by a majority of 26 votes to 13.
Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and Independent councillors Brigid Teefy and Emmett O’Brien accepted the budget, while Sinn Fein, Labour, the Anti-Austerity Alliance and Cllr John Gilligan voted against.
It was agreed at the meeting that local authority tenants will be charged an extra €87 per year on top of their rent. It had been proposed that vacant properties would be subject to a bill of 50% of the annual commercial rate charge.
But following strong opposition from councillors, council chief executive Conn Murray proposed a Business Incentive Scheme.
This will see owners of vacant premises whose rates were under €2,500 paying nothing.
Funding for the bin waiver scheme appears to have also been protected. The scheme was facing cuts of €100,000, but it was agreed to hold this funding for 2015.
The annual commercial rate was left unchanged.
For more on this story, see tomorrow’s Limerick Leader, and our weekend editions.