Calls have been made for an injection of Government funding to urgently address roads in parts of Clare that have fallen into disrepair.
It comes as a Clare FM investigation has revealed that millions of euro in motor tax revenue collected in this county, hasn’t been re-invested in the roads network.
Fresh calls have been made for additional government funding to repair and maintain the county’s roads network.
It comes as Clare FM reveals that just under 28 million euro was paid by Clare drivers in road tax last year, while the 2017 figure was approaching 23.5 million by October.
But, only 17 million has been allocated to the Council for works on roads this year, and the figure of 17.7 million for 2016 includes an extra allocation of 3.6 million towards storm damage.
Clare County Council has argued that funding levels are insufficient, and recently revealed it would take an additional 150 million euro to bring roads back to the standard they were at a decade ago.
West Clare Independent Councillor Christy Curtin says it’s imperative that investment in our roads goes back to pre-recession levels.
While one East Clare Councillor agrees that more money is needed.
A delegation from Clare met with the then Minister with Responsibility for Local Government, Simon Coveney about the issue in September and Councillor Joe Cooney hopes his committment to increase funding will be honoured.
The Fine Gael representative says its vital the issue is addressed.
The Department of Transport insists there’s no link between motor tax revenues raised in one area, and how much money is spent there.
In a statement to Clare FM, the Department also insists the tax is now just another exchequer receipt, like income tax or VAT, and isn’t related to any particular area of expenditure.
It goes on to says that the funding of local and regional roads is a matter for the local authority in the first instance, with additional funding made available by government within its resources.
Motor Tax is just one of a number of revenue-raising measures used by Government. It has no relationship to any particular item of expenditure.
Statement from the Department of Transport
While historically Motor Tax was allocated to the Local Government Fund, which provided funding for local government generally (including a portion of local and regional roads funding – but also the whole range of local services), it is now just another Exchequer receipt, similar to income tax, Vat etc. So the motor tax receipts for a particular area is no more related to any particular area of expenditure in that area than, say, income tax or VAT raised in that area.
It is important to note that the funding of local and regional roads is a matter for the relevant local authority in the first instance, which has available to it a range of revenue sources, including rates and property tax. The Department does make additional funding available to local authorities, within the resources it has which have and remain constrained in the overall Government financial context.