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Government must axe the Household Charge – Adams

21 February, 2012 - by Gerry Adams

The Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has called on the Taoiseach to axe the Household Charge following the publication of figures which show that less than 7% of households have paid.

The Louth TD also called on the government to put in place a Plan B to ensure that local councils are adequately funded.

Deputy Adams said:

“Figures released on Monday show that less than 7% of households
liable for the Household charge have actually paid the tax. With only weeks to go before the March 31st deadline the government’s plan to generate €160 million for local councils appears to be in real danger of collapse.

“At this rate, councils across the state will be left in dire straits when
it comes to funding their services. Indeed many councils are already in difficulty.

“The government should accept that the Household Charge is an unfair tax - an unjust tax – which should never have been introduced. It is a flat tax that hits the poorest hardest. People on low and middle incomes are bearing the brunt of austerity. They are struggling to pay mortgages, the universal social charge, the increase in VAT, increases in motor tax and much more.

“Last week the SIPTU trade union joined the chorus of voices calling for the abolition of the Household Charge.

“Is the government seriously planning to haul tens, maybe hundreds of
thousands of citizens before the courts when not one banker has faced due process?

“The Household Charge should be axed and the government should introduce a cap on wages in the public sector at €100,000, as proposed by Sinn Féin in our pre Budget submission. This would raise €265 million – more than envisaged by the Household Charge.

“With only 7% of households having paid, the government needs to be getting ahead of the curve and planning now for local government services.”

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