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“On a wing and a prayer” is how one Kilkenny Councillor sums up the planning of the council’s 2021 budget

Cllr Michael Doyle's comments come as Callan-Thomastown became the latest municipal district to sign off on a potential reduction in their spending

Kilkenny County Council are planning their budget for next year “on a wing and a prayer”, according to one elected member.

It comes after Callan – Thomastown yesterday became the latest municipal district to sign off on a potential reduction in their spending for 2021.

Each district is set to be allocated €50,000 under the draft budget for 2021, a significant drop from the €62,500 they received this year.

Cllr Michael Doyle says the local authority remain hopeful, however, that government funding will be provided telling KCLR News “We’re currently passing Budget and potentially making cuts on a wing & a prayer really because unless central government reimburse what we’ve already lost and the costs that we’re after incurring due to Covid there’s going to be an awful lot more cuts unfortunately so we have to wait for central government I suppose to clarify what exactly they’re going to reimburse us”.

The local authority’s Head of Finance, Martin Prendiville, told the meeting that the council will be down “at least four or five million euro” in 2021.

Cllr Michael Doyle adds that any cuts are disappointing, but necessary saying “You’re obviously disappointed any time there’s a reduction in spend and I suppose our own municipal district is no different than the other areas across Kilkenny in that there are going to be certain cuts across the board due to Covid, it’s extremely worrying at the moment, we have promises from central government for reimbursement of those expenses and costs due to the Covid and loss of income to the council but, I suppose, they’re only promises, there are no guarantees yet”.

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