Saturday 17 March 2018

Our new tax on households was badly planned, confesses Kenny

LEVY: Payment deadline will not be pushed back

ENDA Kenny has conceded that the Household Charge was badly planned.

As the numbers paying up crept towards 500,000, the Taoiseach admitted: "Probably you could say we should have far more facilities to pay the €100 household charge."

The Fine Gael leader also said there is still "plenty of time" to pay the €100 levy, even though the deadline is Saturday.

And he appealed for "understanding" and "cooperation" with regard to the charge.


Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast on his way home from China, Mr Kenny said the legislation allowing for the new tax was passed as a forerunner to a property tax.

"We're probably the only country in Europe which doesn't have this," the Taoiseach added.

He said: "I remember when I joined the county council away back in the 70s, the first charge on people every year was to pay their rates.

"These were deemed unconstitutional and dropped at the time. Clearly, the €100 Household Charge is for services for local people across every townland, parish and street in the country. It's the law of the land. The Government, as you know, took 330,000 people out of the Universal Social Charge, we reversed the minimum wage with the agreement of the Troika.

"We didn't increase income tax rates. We didn't cut headline rates in social welfare."

He described the Household Charge as "legal", adding: "There's is plenty of time for people to have this payment made and fulfil their legal obligation before the weekend and I would encourage them all to do so."

Mr Kenny insisted: "If the law is broken, people will be followed through in that regard. The same as if you break the law by not paying your television licence. This is very necessary to broaden the base here, so that we can run the services of our country for our people."

He said "probably you could say we should have far more facilities to pay the €100".


But there was plenty of opportunity for people to get out and "make their contribution which is now the law of the land".

Environment Minister Phil Hogan has ruled out any extension to the deadline for payment.

At the last count, more than a million households had not paid.


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