Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where Your Taxes Go: Eur.150 million for "Halting Bays"

I'm not averse to Travellers having some place to park their caravans, but cannot imagine why my tax money should be spent on building monuments to folly costing millions all over the country. After all, you and I pay an arm and a leg to park our cars in the few spaces available to us. Clearly, we live in a nanny state gone mad. Here's proof via the Independent:
...figures reveal that 25 of the county and city councils spent €121m accommodating Travellers in halting sites and in houses over the past five years. Details were not available for the remaining nine primary local authorities, meaning that the total spend is likely to top €150m.
Town councils such as Tullamore, Mullingar and Letterkenny, manage their own budgets, which means that the total is likely to be higher again. Galway City Council emerged as one of the most generous of all local authorities, spending €10m over the past five years. The council also spent over €1.56m on five bays in a halting site in Doughiska, working out at around €300,000 each.
In South Dublin, the council went even further -- shelling out over €500,000 per bay in a 10-bay site in Rathfarnham. At current market prices, €500,000 would buy a comfortable four bed semi-detached house in the Rathfarnam area. South Dublin was by far the highest spending council, forking out €40.3m on Traveller accommodation since 2005. Occupiers of halting sites pay rent to the local council, but the amount is understood to vary according to circumstances.

Elsewhere, Cavan County Council spent a total of €886,965 over five years. Cavan's thrifty total worked out at an average of €80,663 per permanent house and €105,362 per halting bay.

Over 150 million Euro on halting bays? Seriously?!