Call for Government to cover Covid costs

Costs to local authorities arising from COVID-19 should be covered by central Government. That's the view of Kingscourt councillor Clifford Kelly who proposed writing to the Minister for Local Government on the issue.

He made the call at the September monthly meeting of Cavan County Council at which elected members heard the local authority had already spent an estimated €300,000 on Covid-prevention measures.

It was stated this figure could to as much as €450,000 by the end of the year, causing Cllr Kelly to exclaim it was “unfair” for those costs to come from the Council's own budget.

The council has a €1M hole in its finances to plug, a fact that played a huge part in convincing elected members to back a 15% rise in Local Property Tax from January 2021.

Cllr Kelly pointed out that other State bodies had received funding for Covid measures, and so too should county councils.

His Fianna Fáil party colleague, John Paul Feeley, seconded the motion, remarking that councils were told that they were not suppose to “tax their way out” of the current predicament.

Fine Gael's TP O'Reilly said that, if the €300,000 was recoupable, it would go a long way to helping the local authority bring its finances back into the black.