Warning letters boost household charge payers by 10,000

Mon, Jul 16, 2012, 01:00

MORE THAN 10,000 people have registered for the household charge in the past fortnight since 105,000 letters were issued warning people about non-payment.

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.

A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said €97 million in charges and late fees had been collected to date.

He said about 105,000 letters had been issued in the past fortnight, reminding people of their obligation to pay the charge and setting out the late payment penalties.

Individuals who fail to pay the charge could eventually face legal action, the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) has warned. Those who have not paid so far are already facing penalties and interest charges.

The LGMA said it had analysed data to identify those who had not yet paid the charge. The Revenue Commissioners, ESB Networks, the Department of Social Protection, Private Residential Tenancies Board and other agencies have agreed to share data with the LGMA in order to identify owners of non-compliant properties.

Householders became liable for the charge on January 1st and had until March 31st to pay without incurring a charge.

The €100 charge and associated penalties rose to €111 in April and stands at €114 for those who pay the fee this month.

The charge will be €115 next month and by the end of the year it will have risen to €129.

The Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes is planning a protest against the household charge and other austerity measures on Wednesday.

Protesters will meet at the Central Bank on Dame Street at 5pm and march to the Dáil, to coincide with the politicians’ summer recess.

The campaign is also running a series of meetings around the State in response to the warning letters being sent out by the LGMA to people who have not paid the charge.

Posters urging non-payers to stand firm and continue their refusal to pay the charge are being erected across the State.

Campaign spokeswoman Tina McVeigh said the letters would only have the effect of firming up the resolve of those refusing to pay this tax.

There was widespread anger over the introduction of the charge.

A protest march was organised on the second day of the Fine Gael ardfheis in March, with 5,000 people demonstrating outside the party gathering the day before the deadline for payment.