Limerick councillors pass budget for 2015

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LIMERICK City and County Councillors have passed the local authority budget by a majority.

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.