400 march over household tax
Up to 400 people marched to the Leinster House this evening in protest against household and water charges.
Organised by the Campaign Against Household and Water Charges, the march began at the Central Bank at 5pm before moving to Kildare Street, holding up rush hour traffic for a time.
The organisers urged those who had not already registered for the household tax to “tear up” any letters from the Department of the Environment asking them to do so.
Some 105,000 letters have been issued in the past fortnight, warning people about non-payment. More than 10,000 people have registered since receiving the letters.
As of Friday last, 986,676 properties had registered for the charge. Some 962,283 had paid the €100 tax while owners of 17,993 properties had registered for a waiver. The remaining 6,400 applications were awaiting resolution of queries.
The protest was attended by anti-household charge groups from around the country with banners from Cork, Offaly, Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford and Carlow.
Addressing the event, Socialist Party TD for Dublin West Joe Higgins described the charges as part of a “vicious regime of austerity to make the working class pay for the bailout of bankers and bond holders”.
"The fact that 50 per cent of householders, representing two million or so of our people are maintaining a boycott against the intimidation and the threats that have been heaped upon them is a show of huge determination to defeat this tax," he said.
He said he said any attempt to break the campaign by “driving decent people through the courts” would be “met with massive resistance”. Mr Higgins said if Fine Gael and Labour deputies attempted to do this “they will go down in shame and ignominy”
People Before Profit/United Left Alliance TD for Dún Laoghaire Richard Boyd Barrett told protesters it was vital that they “stay visible and organised”.
He described the campaign as “a war of the super rich, the bankers, the corporate elite and the financial elite against the poor and against ordinary workers”.
Protesters were also addressed by Independent TDs John Halligan from Waterford, Seamus Healy from South Tipperary, Thomas Pringle from Donegal South West and Unite's Irish regional secretary Jimmy Kelly. People Before Profit TD Joan Collins and Socialist Party councillor Ruth Coppinger also attended.