[Sinn Fein]

5th February 2002

Corpo Tenants Penalised Twice

Sinn Fein Councillor Chris MacManus said he is disgusted to learn that rents will be increased for Sligo Corporation tenants to fund the paltry waiver scheme for the newly privatised bin service. `The councillors who voted for this scheme were trying to cover their own backs with the electorate. It now seems obvious that they have given local authority tenants a bloody nose.'

Cllr MacManus said: ``While every household in the town will now pay vastly increased refuse charges, Corporation tenants are being hit twice. An increase in rents due very soon will be mostly used to pay for the paltry waiver scheme that the less well off are supposed to benefit from. The County Manager indicated that the housing maintenance budget for 2002 would increase by ¤104,000 from last year and this is being funded in full by housing rent income. However, the decision, opposed only by Sinn Fein, to take most of this money and use it for a cynical political venture such as the waiver is deplorable.

``To add insult to injury, it was confirmed at the recent council meeting that this money being taken out of the maintenance budget ensures that the finance for materials to maintain local authority houses is being slashed in half. 

``Corporation tenants are being given a raw deal. Apart from paying increased bin costs, rent will be increased to subsidise a waiver scheme and now there is less money then ever to maintain Corporation houses. This is the debacle that has ensued following the sell-out that is privatisation.

He concluded, ``It has become clear that this will be an election issue on the door steps of Sligo town in the next number of months. Sinn Fein Alderman Seán MacManus has clearly stated his opposition to what has happened. It's now time for all the Sligo-based candidates, especially Fianna Fail and Fine Gael's, to do likewise. ENDS

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