Reform the local authority system first

MINISTER Phil Hogan’s new property tax, however inevitable, appears to be premature.

The new tax might be more acceptable to overburdened taxpayers if it was preceded by a root-and-branch reform of the local authority system.

This would then deliver value for money, instead of simply throwing taxes at a very inefficient and wasteful bureaucracy.

We have too many local authorities and a consequent duplication of management structures for everything from transport to fire-fighting.

The minister should start with some basics, such as to why the county of Leitrim needs to be managed in the same way as somewhere with a multiple of Leitrim’s size and population, such as Donegal.

Let Sligo County Council look after the running of the town, and also the running of the county — it would give them something to do.

It is certainly very easy to avoid hard decisions by simply taxing and re-taxing the same people who pay for everything.

Why not, for once, put the horse before the cart and reform the whole sorry mess?

After that, if extra money is still needed, I’ll happily pay my share.

John Mulligan


Co Roscommon

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