Sinn Féin Cork City Cllr. Thomas Gould has criticised the decision by Cork City Council to impose a charge of €2 per week on all local authority tenants to pay for the servicing of central heating boilers Cllr. Gould described this as an increase in rent not an additional charge. In the past Cork City Council serviced boilers every two years and the cost of this was included in the rent. Due to new Government legislation which came into effect on 1st February, Cork City Council is compelled to ensure that all council properties have adequate central heating. Cllr. Gould outline two main issues with what he is calling a rent increase in disguise. “I do not believe that the €2 weekly charge which amounts to €104 per year should be forced upon the tenants. This is a cost that the council should be responsible for but due to the cut backs to Cork City Council Local Government funding, it is now being passed on unfairly onto the tenants.” Secondly, Cllr. Gould states that up to 2012 it had been Cork City Council’s policy to service central heating boilers every two years. However, now when the tenant must pay they are been required to pay for servicing of the boiler annually. “I cannot understand how every two years was adequate servicing when the Council were paying and now that the burden is on the tenants, it has become a mandatory yearly service?” “I have been highlighting this issue since last September when Cork City Council cancelled all boiler servicing for the remainder of 2012 because of lack of funding. I have submitted motions and raised this issue at both housing and council meetings and I am extremely disappointed that this rent increase has gone ahead”. Over the next few months Cork City Council tenants are going to be hit with numerous additional charges. From the 13th February the €2 increase to the weekly rent charge will come into effect. Cllr. Gould stated that: “In other words, this €2 a week plus all the additional charges that will come into effect are simply just another means of paying back the bond holders but in a deceiving manner. What Fine Gael and Labour don’t understand is that the ordinary people are not fools and can see through their misleading tactics”.

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