On Monday, Dublin City Councillors voted on how to spend their €862.5 million budget in the coming year. You can explore where that will go in the graphic below.
There were only a few changes to the draft budget put forward by the council management, before the budget was voted through by a loose coalition of Sinn Fein, Labour, the Green Party, and some independents.
Councillors voted to decrease the vacancy refund rate by 5 percent, an initiative pushed by Labour’s Andrew Montague and backed by Green Party group leader Ciaran Cuffe. That means that landlords who leave commercial premises empty will pay a bit more than last year.
(The Workers’ Party Eilis Ryan put forward a motion to drop the refund rate to zero, but councillors didn’t opt for that.)
Commercial rates were put up by roughly 0.75 percent, and for those in social housing, there is an increased boiler charge, which will now be set at €4 a week.
That all means some extra money for cleaning in business areas, for DublinBikes, and for arts and commemorations.
Fine Gael Councillors said they had run on a pledge not to increase commercial rates, and so they voted against the budget.
Given the potential economic impact of Brexit, the US election, and the more local disruption of Luas works, now is not the time to be asking businesses to pay more, said Ray McAdam of Fine Gael.
People Before Profit Alliance councillors put forward another option, telling the council chamber that they just shouldn’t pass the budget.
The city needs more money, says John Lyons, and the plan for 1,780 new social housing in the coming year isn’t enough. “This simply isn’t good enough.”
Instead, they should go to central government and demand more, he said. You can read more about the debate around social housing progress here.