Boundary review an opportunity for economic development – Buttimer

Thursday, 15th January 2015

The review of the Cork City boundary and other local government arrangements is an opportunity to provide a platform for further economic development.

This review is an opportunity to ensure that local government structures are changed so that they best serve the people of Cork and the businesses that generate employment in the region.  The city boundary has remained unchanged for over 50 years and in that time the city has expanded beyond the restrictive boundary.   Everyday life and business activities have moved beyond an outdated boundary and this is a welcome opportunity for much needed and long awaited review.

In 2012 the Government set out its local government reform package, ‘Putting People First’.  This review is the next step in those reform proposals.  We now have an opportunity to put in place structures that recognise modern commuting patterns and changes to urban and suburban centres that have taken place across the city and county.

Cork city and county are key centres for economic development and employment creation; now we have an opportunity to put in place structures that will ensure this continues for decades to come. The outcome of this review must deliver reformed structures that will ensure an effective counter-weight to Dublin which will benefit the entire region.  If we can deliver a city of European scale with critical mass we will best serve the future needs of the people of Cork and provide a platform for further economic development.

For further details on the review group see here: http://www.environ.ie/en/LocalGovernment/LocalGovernmentReform/News/MainBody,40018,en.htm

Posted under Carrigaline, Cork, Cork City, Douglas, Environment, National Work

Housing Strategy will address shortage and reform social housing – Buttimer

Social Housing PolicyWednesday, 26th November 2014

  • 110,000 homes by 2020 including 35,000 additional social housing units
  • Social Housing Strategy 2020 will address current housing shortage and provide homes for those who need them

The Social Housing Strategy announced by the Government today will deal with the housing shortage in this country. Around 35,000 social housing units will be supplied by 2020. The needs of a further 75,000 households will be met through the Housing Assistance Payment and the Rental Accommodation Scheme.

The Government will put in place a tenant purchase scheme for existing tenants in the coming months.  We’re committed to making social housing more flexible and responsive to people’s needs and individual circumstances and include social housing as part of mixed developments.

This ambitious national plan to supply 35,000 social housing units will be completed through the building and acquisition of over 22,000 units, the lease of 11,000 units and the return to use of over 2,000 units.

A major part of the strategy is also the reform of social housing and the way it is allocated. The Housing Assistance Payment is designed to ensure people have the accommodation they need and is currently being introduced on a phased basis in a number of Local Authorities and will be widespread by 2015. It differs from the Rent Supplement as it allows people to take up work without losing their payment, and to avail of other social housing supports and options.

This plan on social housing is not just good news for those waiting on the list and also very positive for the construction industry, with potential for job creation in an industry that was badly hit by the economic crash. It is estimated that the strategy will see the creation of 29,000 jobs

Posted under Development, Environment, National Work

Parliamentary Question: Motor Tax Payment Structures

Question to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly)      

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will reduce the cost differential which arises when paying motor tax quarterly as compared to the cost of paying a single annual payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  – Jerry Buttimer.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 18th November, 2014.

REPLY

Motor tax is payable on a quarterly, half-yearly or on an annual basis. The rates of duty applicable for the quarterly and half-yearly options are 28.25% and 55.5% of the annual charge respectively. This additional cost element takes account of the extra workload for staff in motor tax offices and the National Vehicle and Driver File unit, and the resultant administrative costs and printing costs that arise, including the issuing of renewal notices.

The estimated annual income from the increased charges for quarterly and half-yearly vehicle licences is in the region of €50m. A loss in income from this source would have a negative impact on revenue and would have to be borne elsewhere in the motor tax system or through the taxation system generally.

I have no plans currently to adjust the basis for paying motor tax on a quarterly or half-yearly basis.

Posted under Environment, National Work, Parliamentary Questions