The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Local Government Brian Stanley TD has claimed that the forcing of employers to deduct unpaid charges from peoples wages will impact severely on households already struggling under the impact of low wages and austerity. He also claimed that the Local Property Tax was being taken from people under false pretences as none of it has gone to supporting local services as was claimed when it was introduced.
Deputy Stanley said: “The reason why tens of thousands of people have not paid is because they could not afford such a once off payment. Ordering employers to deduct the money at sources, as has already been done in the public sector, will further reduce the weekly income of households which are struggling to make ends meet. We have seen a succession of new taxes which along with the proposed introduction of water charges will further worsen the situation of many families.
“It is also the case that the Local Property Tax is being taken from people under false pretences. When it was introduced it was said that it would go to pay for the upkeep of local authority services such as libraries, parks and lighting. Instead the Local Government Fund was last year raided to nearly the exact amount of what was taken in LPT to subvent Irish Water.
“At the same time local authorities have been presented with drastically reduced funding which means that they have been forced to curtail the provision of the very services which the LPT is supposed to support.”