Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on Tipperary County Council to clarify the reasons why its income from Parking Fines and Charges increased from €1.6 million in 2014 to over €3.137 million in 2017. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was found that the total income for the county from Parking Fines and Charges was over €11 million for the period 2014-2017:
“I think most people will be stunned at the amount of income that is being generated for the council from this single income stream.
My main concern here is that while we certainly need to encourage responsible parking activity, I would hope at the same time that we could do that without pursuing an excessively rigid and penalising regime.
Given that over €11 million has been collected since 2014 I would be concerned that an appropriate balance between charges and fines is being lost.
We all know how easily that can translate into an anti-business or anti-trade mentality developing.
People will simply avoid our towns or village centres if they believe that the parking system is unduly unfair.
We need to see some kind of justification for the scale of these fines and charges and an equally clear impact analysis from Tipperary County Council in terms of any negative impact this might be having.
In the run up to Christmas, when local businesses are depending on consumer spending, we need to address any issues that may exist so that people will not be put off coming into town,” concluded Deputy McGrath.