[Sinn Fein]

31st January 2002

Tax designation must be extended to Clar areas

Sinn Fein County Councillor Gerry Murray has suggested that blanket tax designation should be extended to all Clar areas. Councillor Murray was speaking to a meeting of Sinn Fein election workers in Castlebar on Wednesday night.

``The Shannon basin Rural Renewal Scheme has had a very positive impact on Counties Leitrim, Longford, Cavan, Roscommon and Sligo. In those areas People have been able to avail of the concession that blanket tax designation affords. Half the construction price of new houses can be written off against income tax, while in the case of old houses up to 100% of refurbishment costs can be written off. This should now be extended to all clar areas in Counties Mayo and Galway.''

``Communities like Charlestown and Swinford that are on the periphery of the Shannon Basin Scheme now find themselves at a distinct disadvantage due to the fact that many of their young people are moving to Tubercurry and other towns in the Shannon basin to avail of those generous tax breaks. Needless to say both Swinford and Charlestown are suffering as a result and this is clearly reflected in declining school numbers.''

Cllr Murray concluded. ``The Government no longer have any excuse for stalling on this issue, as Eammom O' Cuiv's Clar Programme clearly gives them the criteria, the mechanism and the justification for extending the Rural Renewal Scheme to Counties Mayo and Galway.''

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