Donegal councillors meet to consider Budget 2021

Donegal County Council meets today to consider its budget for 2021, with plans to spend in excess of €155 million next year.

The council's Chief Executive says the need for extra government support will continue into next year as the council continues to work under the shadow of Covid-19, but he believes the budget being presented today is balanced and achievable.

In his introduction to the budget book, Chief Executive John McLaughlin says it is a very challenging budget, in the midst of the effects of COVID-19, but it is one that can be made work.

Expenditure €155,285,723 is forecast for the year ending 31st December 2021, with rates to remain unchanged. This year, the nine-month waiver of Commercial Rates will result in a 75% reduction in the amount of Commercial Rates payable by the majority of businesses in Donegal in 2020.

The council will be compensated for the loss of income, with the value of that expected to exceed €15.5m.

Mr McLaughlin says says Covid 19 and Brexit both present challenges, but he believes the budget strikes a good balance between establishing a solid sustainable financial position, and delivering the services needed to fund work that supports and develops the local economy.