AS government slashes social housing, the Greens press on with €8m elected mayor “folly” says Labour TD Ciarán Lynch.
“The on-again, off-again Bill to provide for a directly elected mayor of Dublin, has reappeared and is to be introduced for committee stage next week. It is clear that this legislation is being offered as sop by Fianna Fail, to the Green Party in a desperate bid to prolong the days of a Government that is already on life support.
“It stretches credulity to the limits and beyond that the Greens want to press ahead with this extravagant folly, while at the same time, presiding over massive cuts in the provision of social housing.
“In 2009, €1.1b was allocated for the provision and support of social housing, but in yesterday’s budget, that was slashed in half, to €529m, at a time when housing lists are as long as ever. But somehow Minister Gormley has got his hands on the millions he will need to fund this profligacy.
“It should be borne in mind too that Minister Gormley is standing over budget cuts of over €62m in the exchequer contribution to the Local Government Fund, so if he thinks that the Dublin local authorities are going to be in a position to cover the cost of the Mayor’s office from their own coffers, he should think again.
“These sweeteners are being dangled in front of John Gormley and his Party to delay the election, so that their Fianna Fail masters can get their electoral act together, and get themselves geared up for the campaign. It seems that the Greens are swallowing them, hook line and sinker,” he said.