9 December 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

With the early details of this week’s severe Budget emerging via the electronic media as their meeting progressed, Monaghan Co Council on Monday became perhaps the first local authority in the country to react to how the Government’s cuts and revenue generating measures will impact on vulnerable sectors.
Members agreed to send an e-mail to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a last-ditch bid to avert the proposed 2% hike in VAT, expressing fears that the measure could lead to business closures in towns in the county and across the wider Border region.
Calls were also made at the meeting for a reform in the way in which the rates collected by local authorities from commercial premises are levied, with Fianna Fáil’s Robbie Gallagher proposing that the Council invite a representative from the Valuation Office to a future meeting to explain the rationale behind the setting of rates levels.
However, discussion on a Fianna Fáil urgent business motion, calling on the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, and the Fine Gael/Labour Government, not to increase the VAT rate to 23% in the Budget, did not take place after the proposal to discuss it was defeated on a show of hands vote.
FG’s David Maxwell pointed out that there was a circulated resolution from Monaghan Town Council on the issue coming before the meeting in correspondence, to which FF’s Pádraig McNally responded that they shouldn’t let the Town Council set the Co Council’s agenda.
“The last thing this region needs is a VAT increase,” stated South Monaghan Sinn Féin member Matt Carthy when the Monaghan resolution and the issue of VAT were being discussed.
Colr Carthy, pointing out that there might also be Budget increases in excise duties and in so-called carbon taxes, said that perhaps the only thing at present that would encourage someone from the North to travel into Co Monaghan to make a purchase was the price of fuel, but these proposals would soon wipe out any beneficial differential in that regard.
Full story in The Northern Standard

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