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Galway City Council spending could be hit by series of ‘risk factors’


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway City Council spending could be hit by series of ‘risk factors’ Galway City Council spending could be hit by series of ‘risk factors’

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The bill for running the city in 2023 will come in at just over €113.3 million – an increase of nearly €10m on the 2022 spend – according to the latest budget figures released this week by the local authority.

There will be no increases in rates, the Local Property Tax (LPT), or in car parking fees for 2023, with the City Council committed to ‘maintaining all existing services to a high standard’.

However, City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, has cautioned in his 2023 Annual Budget Report, that there will be a number of ‘risks’ which could impact negatively on the local authority’s financial position through the coming year.

He said that some of the main ‘risk factors’ included the possibility of a global recession, inflation, interest rates, energy costs, world security and the war in Ukraine, supply chain problems and ‘specific construction price inflation of over 30% in some areas’.

Mr McGrath outlined that a number of other factors could also come into play such as challenges within the labour force to recruit and retain staff; skill deficits in key areas; consumer confidence; the strong dependence of the city on the hospitality sector; and the economic impact of remote and blended working.

“There has been no corresponding increase in levels of State grant funding to keep pace with inflation driven construction and project delivery costs. This not only impacts on the capital programmes but also on many facets of revenue expenditure,” said Mr McGrath.

He also pointed out that the international refugee challenge had brought with it, unintended economic and other consequences, especially in relation to accommodation.

“This is in the context of competing conflicting needs from refugees, students, homeless persons and those in the rental market,” said the Chief Executive.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, and extensive coverage of the Council’s budget, see the November 11 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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