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Stanley launches Bill to repeal Household Charge

7 June, 2012 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Community & Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has urged all TDs to vote yes on June 20th.

Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin's Back the Bill campaign, Stanley explained;

“Sinn Féin opposes the Household Charge. On June 19 we will introduce a bill, the Local Government (Household Charge) (Repeal) Bill 2012. This Bill aims to reverse the Household Charge and reimburse all those who have paid the charge.

“The charge was introduced in last year’s budget because the Fine Gael/Labour government cut the funding to local authorities. The funding was taken from local government and redirected to bail out zombie banks. A yes vote on June 20th will consign the Household Charge to the rubbish bin of history.

“People should not be paying for local government services twice. Households already have to pay for services including waste collection, call out charges for the fire brigade, septic tank charges and soon water charges.

“Sinn Féin believes that the household charge is a double tax and should be resisted. It is grossly unfair as it penalises those on middle and low incomes. Millionaires will pay the same as pensioners and lone parents, who have had their benefits cut.

“The government could have made other choices. Funding and savings could have been made from one of the following options:

• Introduce a new third rate of tax of 48% on income earned by individuals in excess of €100,000. Raises: €410 million
• Abolish ‘Group relief’ availed of by companies to transfer losses to profitable companies and write down tax receipts. Raises: €450.3 million
• Abolish legacy property reliefs. Raises: €341.8 million
• Cap all public servants wages at €100,000 per annum. Saves: €265 million

“Any one of the above would have more than covered the cost of local government services but instead Fine Gael & Labour TDs chose to dip deeper into our pockets.

“Sinn Féin launched the Back the Bill campaign to encourage residents groups, trade unions and campaign groups to support this bill. We are happy to have received support from both Unite and Mandate trade unions, the Dublin Council of Trade Unions and a number of community groups. We have written to SIPTU and the TEEU and are confident that others will come out in support of this bill.

“The public now has an opportunity to put pressure on government TDs in reverse this unjust and unworkable household Charge. I am encouraging all TDs to vote Yes on the June 20th and support this bill.

“There will be a Back the Bill rally outside the Dáil at 5pm on Wednesday June 20th to coincide with the vote that evening.” ENDS

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