MINISTER for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan commended all those who have registered their properties and paid the household charge.
To date 1.126m properties have been registered and this includes 22,334 waivers. €113.35m has been collected and reallocated to local authorities through the Local Government Fund.
“12 months ago when this charge was introduced there was plenty of doom merchants who said the charge would not be collected and people wouldn’t pay. How wrong they were, 70% of those liable to pay the charge have done so and I commend all those households for doing the right thing. We had elected representatives who actively encouraged people to break the law and not pay the charge. These self-same people are now calling for more funding for local authorities and at the same time encouraging people not to pay,” said the Minister.
“In the last few years Irish people have had a tough time of it and, in spite of that, over 1.2million people have paid the household charge. They recognise the importance of compliance with the law of the land and, by paying the charge, they have made their contribution to the provision of essential services at the local level. I would like to thank them for this,” he said.
“We are on the road to economic recovery but it is a road that requires difficult decisions. This government is prepared to take the tough decisions that will get us there. The tax base in Ireland will be broadened further next year with the introduction of the local property tax and in the long run this will provide local authorities with the ability to raise funding locally and spend it on necessary local services,” added the Minister.
From 1 January 2013 the household charge will be abolished and be replaced with the Local Property Tax next year. For liable persons who did not pay household charge in 2012 and who pay the charge to the Local Government Management Agency by 30 April 2013 arrears of Household Charge will be capped at €130.
From July any outstanding Household Charge will be increased to €200 and added to Local Property Tax due on the property. The Revenue Commissioners will collect the outstanding charge through the LPT system.
“A concerted effort is needed over the next few years to return our country to prosperity. This will require strong leadership and a sustained commitment to the reform programme that is underway. We are making good progress. Ireland will recover and this government, with the people’s help, will make sure of it. I would again like to thank everyone who has paid the Household Charge to date. I strongly encourage those who haven’t done so to pay the household charge and avoid having to pay unnecessary late payment penalties.”
The Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes rejects Phil Hogan’s celebratory assertion that 70% of home-owners have now paid the hated Household Tax. Michael O’Brien on behalf of the campaign said
‘We would absolutely dispute Minister Hogan’s registration figures. We have consistently pointed out that the true target figure for the government is in the order of 1.8 million households not the lower target of 1.6 million which they claim thus inflating their figures for compliance. The government inadvertently expose themselves on this point by the fact that they claim they are targeting around 1.9 million households for the property tax, that is the true figure plus council houses, still an underestimate by them but closer to the truth than the spoofing they have been pedaling to an unquestioning media throughout the year.