Councillors accused of being “too conservative” as Council Budget is passed

Cllr Madeleine Johansson

The South Dublin County Council Budget for 2024 was passed by councillors at the annual Budget Meeting. It included a rise in overall expenditure to €338 million, however some councillors accused the majority of councillors of being “too conservative”.

People Before Profit councillor Madeleine Johansson made the comment when her proposal to raise €40 million for a retrofitting scheme was voted down. The proposal would have increased rates for businesses and introduced a refund scheme for small and medium enterprises. It was voted down by 5 votes in favour to 26 against.

Cllr Madeleine Johansson said: “We need urgent action on both Climate Change and the Cost of Living crisis. My proposal to raise €40 million for a retrofitting scheme for council owned homes would have  gone a significant way towards reducing carbon emissions and more importantly to make tenant’s homes more comfortable and cheaper to heat. “The proposal would have seen a 50% increase in rates for businesses but refunding that increase to all small and medium businesses through a rebate scheme. This would primarily have affected big multinational corporations and data centres in the county. These corporations and big businesses make lots of profits and should be paying their fair share.  

“Other counties, such as Limerick City & County, have implemented the same scheme that I proposed in order to achieve a more fair rates structure. “It’s very disappointing that the majority of councillors were too conservative to consider my proposal. We could have retrofitted 1 111 homes at a cost of €36 000 per unit for the €40 million the proposal would have raised. This could have made a huge difference to tenants who are living in damp, mouldy and cold homes in our county.”

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Sarah Brooks

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