Wicklow County Councillor and Sinn Féin group leader John Brady has welcomed the decision by the majority of Wicklow Councillors to support the reduction of the Local Property Tax rate by 15%, the decision was taken at a special meeting of the council which took place on Monday. It will result in €2,642,002 going directly back into the local economy in Wicklow.
Speaking after the meeting councillor Brady said "I welcome the decision of the majority of the Councillors in Wicklow to reduce the unjust Property Tax by 15% which is the maximum allowed under the legislation. This is a stepping stone towards the complete abolition of the tax which Sinn Féin have committed to doing if we enter government after the next election. The decision to reduce the tax was carried by 31 votes to 1".
"The saving of 15% comes only 2 weeks before the first billing period for the new water charges commences with the first bills landing on our door steps in January. The property tax coupled with the water charges will result in approximately €1,000 per household being taken from the pockets of hard hit families. This is just another regressive tax that hits the most vulnerable the hardest, however the 15% reduction will give a little respite to struggling families and the saving will pump €2,642,002 directly back into the local economy".
The Sinn Féin councillor continued "The imposition of the property tax by Fine Gael and Labour last year has not nor will it see any increase or improvement in local services. Other funding streams to the council have been cut and last year all monies collected in Wicklow were handed to Irish Water to install water meters. In the elections in May Sinn Féin went before the electorate seeking a mandate to reduce the tax as a stepping stone, we got a mandate from the electorate to get the maximum reduction of 15% which the legislation allows for. At the meeting on Monday we delivered on that and we now must continue until it's totally abolished".
Brady went onto say "The decision to reduce unjust tax has to be welcomed, however it's only the tip of the iceberg. I'm very conscious of the impact the remaining property tax coupled with the water charges will have on hard pressed families and the local economy in Wicklow. At Mondays meeting Sinn Féin put forward a motion opposing the Local Property Tax and calling on the government to abolish the unjust tax. The motion was passed by 19 votes to 11 and showed up the hypocrisy of some Councillors who spoke against the tax but when given the opportunity to vote against it decided to vote in favour of it. Fine Gael voted to support the tax and Fianna Fáil were split on the issue with some of their Councillors completely bamboozled as to what exactly their policy is on the issue".
Councillor Brady concluded "The reduction of 15% is a step in the right direction and a step towards its ultimate abolishment when Sinn Féin get into power. The other important thing to come out of the meeting is that it's now the policy of the council to oppose the property tax and to seek its abolishment". Ends
Motion passed by Wicklow County Council, proposed by Cllr John Brady, seconded by Cllr Nicola Lawless. The motion was passed by 19 votes to 11
'The members of Wicklow County Council are totally opposed to the Local Property Tax and see the 15% reduction in the rate which was passed in Wicklow as the start of the process of abolishing the LPT. We call on the Government to abolish this unjust tax'
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