By Dan Walsh
Members of Wexford County Council have unanimously adopted the 2022 Budget for an overall estimated expenditure and income of €134 million, up more than €3 million from 2021.
Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr. Barbara Anne Murphy described the consideration of the 2022 Budget as a complex process that strived to achieve a balance between the need for enhanced local services in the county with the ability to fund those services.
“We the elected members have done what we have been elected to do – we have identified the services areas that we believe are most important to the public at this time, such as housing supports, road improvements, economic development, tourism initiatives and community supports and we have sought to ensure that these and other key services will continue to be delivered by the Council in 2022, in the face of significant challenge and uncertainty” said Cllr. Murphy.
Chief Executive Tom Enright described the preparation of the 2022 Budget as highly challenging in the face of financial and other uncertainties brought about by Covid-19. He highlighted the improving economic outlook and high vaccination rates as causes for optimism and renewed confidence going forward.
Housing Services is one of the main areas to benefit, with a total estimated expenditure of €28.5 million in this key area of Council activity, up €1.25 million on 2021 expenditure.
Road funding has also significantly increased with almost €35 million to be spent by Wexford County Council maintaining and improving the county’s road infrastructure during 2022.
Commercial rates charges are unchanged from their 2021 level while the Council’s highly successful Rates Incentives Scheme, which offers substantial discounts to commercial rate payers will also operate in 2022. Local Property Tax is also being unchanged from 2021 levels.
The Council’s 80-page Budget Report sets out the main income sources for 2022. Goods and Services income has been estimated at €36.7 million, income from Grants has been estimated at €37.7 million, Commercial Rates are expected to yield €41.7 million while income from Local Property Tax is estimated at €14.78 million.