Mr. Peter Burke TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning has confirmed the significant increase in funding that has been made available in Budget 2021 to enable local authorities to continue to support communities and citizens across the country and to support the country’s planning system. This will mean SMEs will have no rates due for the remainder of the year, in additional to the rates which were waived for Q2 and Q3.
As part of Budget 2021, Minister Burke has announced:
- An extension of the rates waiver for the remainder of 2020, which will bring to €900m the monies provided by Government to support local businesses and the continuation of services at local authority level.
- A further amount of €192m is being provided to support local authorities in their work in 2021. This represents an increase of €36m on funding from the Local Government Fund in 2020.
- A total of €273m is being provided in 2021 for the Department’s planning programme. This includes a capital funding of €214m for capital expenditure, an increase of €96m or 80% on 2020 levels (when capital carry over is taken into account), due to increased activity on the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund and the LDA.
- Funding of €90m is being made available in housing supports for our elderly, persons with a disability and travellers.
- Capital funding of €14m, an increase of 15% is also being made available to support our fire and emergency services deliver new fire stations, fire engines and fire equipment. .
Minister Burke said “This year’s budget is evidence of this Government’s commitment to local government and the services that all our local authorities provide to communities up and down the country. I know first-hand the great work that local authorities do in their local areas. We have seen their huge contribution, especially as we all tackle the COVID-19 virus, in terms of the community call and supports they have provided to vulnerable individuals and in terms of their business for businesses, including through rolling out the restart grant.
“Furthermore, this measures also means that businesses do not have to worry about rates which were due for Q4 after commercial rates due for Q2 and Q3 were waived. Along with the suite of measures announced by the Tánaiste today, this is further support for our SMEs who have been so negatively impacted by the Covid crisis.
“I will continue to work with Minister McGrath to support local authorities to continue to deliver their services and will work with them to address any shortfall in funding.
He added, “In terms of our planning system, I am committed to the role out of the National Planning Framework. I am pleased that such significant funding is being provided to the Land Development Agency and to the Urban Regeneration Development Fund to support the sustainable development of our country”.