Local Authority Funding is based on a Needs and Resources model set up in 2000. The purpose of the model was to bring about equalisation between local authorities in terms of having enough resources, from central grants and local income, to provide a reasonable level of services to their residents.
This model is currently under review. With a new government in 2020 I will be pushing for implementation of the Baseline Review Recommendations.
In 2018 the Dept of Housing, Planning, Local Government set up a Local Government (Funding) Baseline review group to review how Local Authorities are financed. The Group comprises representatives of the Department, the City and County Management Association (CCMA) and the Association of Irish Local Government (AILG). It held a public consultation in 2018 as part of its review.
Kildare County Council made the following submission explaining why the model needs to change and how Kildare is affected by the current model. In short, and as highlighted by Treasa Keegan in her reporting on Celbridge Politics, Kildare County Council has one of the lowest funding per capita in Ireland. See the following submission for further information and Kildare County Council’s recommendations.
Download Kildare County Council submission to Local Baseline Review consultation 2018 (PDF).
The Group are currently reviewing the submissions and making their recommendations. The review is linked however to the review of the Local Property Tax – they are running in parallel. The recommendations of the review group will not be released therefore until next year. However, it is encouraging to know that the model is being reviewed and that there will be a new baseline that accurately reflects the huge needs of Kildare. We pay in approximately 21m euro into the fund and receive approximately 17m back.
Local Government (Funding) Baseline review group terms of reference:
– To consider the broad range of general indicators and data sources, not linked to specific programmes, that could be applied across the local government sector to review baselines and guide the allocation of non-programme funding;
– To consider the rationale behind these indicators and whether appropriate to the local government sector;
– To recommend a set of indicators and associated data sources to inform the objective set out in bullet 1;
– To recommend a weighting that may attach to each indicator;
– To consider, insofar as possible, the existing sources of, and demands on, local authority non-programme income as part of this process;
– To consult widely with relevant stakeholders;
– To conclude this programme of work before end August 2018.