The campaign against Household and Septic Tank charges are asking people “Don’t register” and also “Don’t pay” the new Government levies.
The campaign team arrived in Leitrim last Tuesday, January 31 with a meeting in McGirls Bar, Ballinamore. Almost 100 people turned up to hear the purpose of the campaign, to seek further information on the new household and septic tank charges and to voice their concerns.
Dublin Socialist Party Cllr Matt Waine and Independent Donegal Deputy Thomas Pringle addressed the meeting and said their aim was to have a committee in every area, with the ultimate goal of having one million people failing to register for the household charge by deadline of March 31.
Cllr Waine told the public that only 4% of the Irish Republic have registered “96% have refused” so far. He comforted those present by saying “you are not alone.” He said the money from the charges will not be put into local services but will leave the country to pay the IMF and gambling bankers. He said that in a few years it is expected that households will be paying up to w1,000 annually.
He outlined that people must know the consequences of their actions, if you do not register by March 31 you have to pay€ w42 extra on top of the charge and you risk a fine of up to w2,500 if brought to court. But he said with enough people boycotting the charge they cannot fine or imprison everyone. He also said that the Government cannot take the payments from your wages as it would need to change the law to do so.
The campaign wants to build “mass non registration” they want to give the Government “a powerful message” from the public that we have had enough of austerity measures.
Cllr Waine said there is no bill, no break down - you register, you pay. The campaign against Household & Water taxes are asking for w5 for everyone who joins, so they can “achieve the best legal advise” to fight the charge.
Deputy Pringle said the Irish people want a “fair and equitable tax.”
The campaign also includes a protest over the septic tank charge which was passed through the Dáil two weeks ago. The w50 fee (reduced to w5 until June 2012) must be paid before March 2013.
Deputy Pringle said any septic tank built before 2007 may not comply with EPA guidelines, he said again there is the risk of a fine for not paying but he said, he will stand in solidarity with those who cannot afford to pay it.
He said he understands that inspectors will be employed to report on every septic tank in the country and owners will be informed if they have any works to carry out to bring them up to standard.
Deputy Pringle said that tax on higher wages should be increased so the system is fairer. He asked people to “exercise your power.” Deputy Pringle said nine TDs support the campaign not to register.
There were plenty of angry comments from the floor, one said that Irish people are “tenants of the IMF” the same speaker also said “we have no Government, we have a council for the IMF.”
Many brandished the lack of services such as public transport and health care facilities locally. Others asked why do they have to register for the septic tank charge when the local authority already know who has one.
Others said that if the local county council passed the septic tank in the first place they should be liable to fix them.
Cllr Martin Kenny was the only local political representative at the meeting, he said “we must stand together or we will be defeated.” There was outrage towards the IMF and Germany as well as the Irish Government acting as “puppets.”
Many who attended the meeting said they will not register for the household or the septic tank charge.
It is not understood how many people from the county have joined the campaign, but a spokesperson said they have a lot of support in Leitrim and are expecting to hold more meetings in different areas of the county.
For more information visit: www.nohouseholdtax.org or call the campaign hot line on: 1890 989 800.