A deepening rural v urban divide?


Sir, – A letter writer asserts that “rural and regional city workers have been subsidising Dublin’s many benefits for years” (September 18th). The opposite is the case. Dublin, which contains 28 per cent of the population, contributed 56 per cent of total tax revenue in 2018. While figures are not available on current Government expenditure, 56 per cent of such spending certainly is not in Dublin. A study by Dublin Chamber of Commerce shows that over the seven years from 2010 to 2017, government capital spending per capita in Dublin was the second lowest after Carlow, while the biggest beneficiaries were Sligo, Kilkenny and Leitrim.

In the case of the local property tax, there is large redistribution from Dublin to other counties. A significant part of the LPT receipts in Dublin are redistributed to rural counties.In 2017, 80 per cent of the redistributed funds went to Donegal, Mayo and Tipperary in 2017. Of the €80 million in LPT collected in the Dublin City Council area in 2017, the addition to the city’s finances was only €4 million as LPT receipts replaced grants from central government, and €16 million went into the redistribution fund. The receipts of LPT revenue received by rural counties enabled some of them such as Longford to reduce the rate of LPT applied in their areas. The data on tax receipts and public spending show that people living in shoe-box apartments in Dublin are subsidising people living in large detached houses in rural counties. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 13.

A chara, – Pitching this debate as a matter of town versus country is misguided and unhelpful.

It is of course bizarre to state that post offices and banks may have remained open if the inhabitants of one-off houses had lived in towns. The people who live in these houses do not somehow stop using shops, banks and post-offices; they simply drive to them instead of walking (and census data indicates that over 85 per cent of these houses are within five kilometres of a settlement). The reliance on cars may not be sustainable, but that problem is not exclusively rural and extends to many a Dublin suburb.

More importantly, a significant driver of one-off housing is the fact that, in towns and villages, suitable sites or homes are difficult (and often expensive) to find; for many, one-off housing outside the village is the only workable option. In other words, much one-off housing is created by exactly the same dynamic that is now driving people out of the cities they call home in search of housing they can afford.

When it comes to housing, ordinary people – wherever they live – really are all in this together. – Yours, etc,


Dunderrow, Co Cork.