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Limerick councillors consign waive cut plan to bin

Councillors have blocked plans for a spending cut on the bin waiver

Councillors have blocked plans for a spending cut on the bin waiver

  • by Nick Rabbitts
 

COUNCILLORS have blocked a bid to cut the spend to the bin waiver scheme, which provides subsidised collections.

In his estimates, city manager Conn Murray had proposed a €55,000 cut to the scheme which provides up to 26 free bin collections to householders each year on a means-tested basis.

More than 4,000 people in the city benefit from the scheme - but the proposed spend on the project was to fall from €390,000 this year to €335,000 next year.

But at the end of the meeting, a number of councillors raised concern at this cut.

The meeting was adjourned for a few minutes to allow a compromise solution to be found.

And it was agreed that city management would shift €55,000 from Bad Debt Provision.

This fund is used to make up for the traders in the city who have not paid their commercial rates.

Sinn Fein Cllr Maurice Quinlivan, who lobbied strongly for a freeze in the waiver, said he would not have supported the budget had the cut gone through.

“It was a small enough cut, but it is the principle of the thing, and I couldn’t vote against it. We need to defend this. If we have one cut this year, we might have another cut next year, and for those people who are on the waiver, many of them are on the breadline,” Cllr Quinlivan explained, “We are talking about pensioners and people on low incomes.”

The city budget has seen an expenditure cut of just €1.5m overall to key services - unlike the county council, which has shaved €15m from its services.

Labour councillor Joe Leddin praised the fact that the council is increasing money on housing projects, in particular housing maintenance.

“This is good, as we are the biggest landlord in the city, so it is important we reinvest back into our housing stock,” he said.

He also praised the fact that overall spending has only been cut by a fraction.

“To reduce the rate by 15.8% and maintain the high level of service provided is in itself an achievement.”

 

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