Causeway Coast & Glens Councillor, Padraig McShane, has accused the Unionist parties in Council as using the Job retention scheme of furloughing staff at 80%, as a way to ‘claw back’ money to prevent ‘bankruptcy’ of Causeway Coast & Glens.
Council proposed on Tuesday night to furlough staff not currently required at 80%. This was despite an amendment to the proposal by Sinn Fein and supported by SDLP, Alliance & Cllr McShane himself, to top this up to 100% – an amendment which went on to fail.
Speaking about councils finances, the Independent Councillor said:
“This mismanagement of finances in Causeway Coast and Glens has been catastrophic for a number of years.
“A report by Price Waterhouse Coopers made clear to councillors that major financial irregularities had taken place in Causeway Coast and Glens.
“The Council was technically heading for bankruptcy by financial year end 2020. To claw back that money the DUP UUP and surprisingly the PUP have attacked workers – some of them the lowest paid in the organisation – by attempting to Furlough and reduce their income by 20%. Many Councils across the North have furloughed workers and maintained their income base by supplementing the 20%. Ours is in no position to do so because of the financial mismanagement.“
In response to another Councillors justification for not supporting the amendment on Tuesday night, Mr McShane concluded:
“Instead of responding to my statements the Councillor would be better advised to respond to the financial irregularities that appeared so evident in 2019/20.
“If Cllr McAuley or any other member wants to do right by the people of Causeway Coast and Glens it’s time he started challenging those financial irregularities that impact on everyone.“