Level of rates collection in Donegal less than Dublin would like, says Sean Paul Phelan

Rates collection.
Rates collection.

The level of rates collection in Donegal is lower than Dublin would like, the Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform Sean Paul Phelan has said.

However, this was partly due to a rates alleviation scheme introduced by the local authority to help local businesses in the county survive during the recession.

"I was in Donegal County Council with some of my officials.

"The first thing I always raise when I visit a local authority is the rate of rates collection. The Donegal rate was lower than I would have liked it to be.

"The reason it was lower was that over a period of years through the recession the council introduced its own version of an alleviation scheme, which saw some rates written down," said the Minister.

Speaking in the Seanad before the Oireachtas rose for the summer break Deputy Phelan said this was an understandable attempt to keep struggling businesses open during the economic downturn.

"I gave a particular example of work done in Donegal where, in the teeth of the recession, a conscious effort was made by management and councillors to do exactly what the Senator said, namely, keep businesses open and have rates into the future rather than have large rates bills upfront," he said.