Independent TD Thomas Pringle has claimed the Government is using non-payment of the Household Charge to justify local authority cuts that were already planned or had already been applied.

The Government has cut local funding and those with the worst Household Charge compliance have been hit hardest.

It has been reported that Donegal County Council is to lose €1.6m.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny, Mr Pringle said that people in Donegal were experiencing cuts in services before the introduction of the charge.

He said: "Already this year library services have been cut by €600,000. We've seen the closure of Killybeggs library. We've seen the closure of Ramelton library, the reduction in hours for Donegal town and Ballyshannon.

"So the Government is going to try and use this argument now that the only reason there's cuts in Donegal is because we haven't paid the Household Charge."

Speaking on the same programme, Fine Gael Cllr Martin Harley said that all of Donegal's constituents will be feeling the pinch.

Mr Harley said: "The people who went out and paid the Household Charge, they're going to be hurting the same now as the people who haven't.

"The council executive in Donegal has been working hard to try and get more people to pay."