‘MAGGIE THATCHER WILL BE SMILING DOWN ON DONEGAL’ SAYS COUNCILLOR IN HEATED HOME TAX DEBATE

first_imgCOUNCILLORS have clashed at County House in Lifford today over the house tax with one councillor saying former British PM Maggie Thatcher would be ‘smiling down on Donegal’ at Fine Gael in power.They were speaking on a Sinn Fein motion – forwarded by Cllr Mick Quinn – calling for the tax to be abolished.Cllr Quinn wanted the council to support the motion. But two independent councillors – both former members of Fine Gael – hit out at the Sinn Fein motion.“We are sitting here 200 metres from where Sinn Fein is in power (in the North) where families have to pay between £1,100 and £1,300 a year,” said Cllr Terence Slowey.Sinn Fein councillor Jack Murray interrupted: “Yes – but what do they get for it?”Mayor Frank McBrearty had to call for order several times as councillors interrupted each other during heated exchanges. Cllr Quinn’s party colleague Marie Therese Gallagher said she was ‘fed up’ with the comparisons between north and south.She denounced Cllr Padraig Doherty (independent and former Fine Gael) as a ‘right wing apologist’ pointing out the free health service, schools and other free services in the North. Cllr Doherty had opposed the motion.Jack Murray also turned on Slowey and Doherty, saying: “Margaret Thatcher must be smiling down on Donegal today listening to this. Thatcherism will never die in Ireland as long as Fine Gael is in power.”Cllr Slowey described the Sinn Fein motion as ‘pie in the sky’.“None of us want to pay the tax,” said Cllr Slowey. “It’s not popular with me saying this – the people of Ardara and Glenties won’t be too happy with me saying this – but it has to be paid,” he added.Cllr Bernard McGuinness (Fine Gael) accused Sinn Fein of double-speak, while party colleague John Ryan told Sinn Fein to ‘get real’.Cllr Michael McBride (independent) said he believed the tax was here to stay but that it should be fairer so that those who can’t afford it don’t have to pay it.Mayor Frank McBrearty agreed; that the most vulnerable in society should be exempt from the tax and he backed the motion. Cllr Cora Harvey said Sinn Fein were not advocating the non-payment of the property tax – just its repeal.The motion was passed by 10 votes to eight – with one abstention. Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, Mayor McBrearty and independent John Campbell voted for the motion.In a written reply to Cllr Quinn, council officials said that 61% of Donegal homeowners have paid the Household Charge from last year – or 31,400 homes.‘MAGGIE THATCHER WILL BE SMILING DOWN ON DONEGAL’ SAYS COUNCILLOR IN HEATED HOME TAX DEBATE was last modified: April 15th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

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