March 2012        

Kildare says No to household taxes

A crowd of more than three hundred people packed into the Hotel Keadeen in Droichead Nua, Co. Kildare, for a meeting organised by the Anti-Household Charge Campaign. The people voiced their anger against the €100 household charge, the new septic-tank inspection charge, and the turf-cutting ban.
     The attendance included a considerable number of elderly people, who acknowledged that they had never before considered non-payment of a tax or charge. One pensioner received a round of applause when she told the meeting she had no intention of paying this tax; “Let them put me in jail.”
     P. J. Earley of Kildare Turf Cutters’ Association addressed the crowd. The audience were asked if the septic-tank charges would also be opposed, and it was agreed unanimously to reject all home taxes.
     After speaking from the floor, the independent councillor Paddy Kennedy stated that he will not pay the household charge. He added that this Government is already trying to stop people from cutting turf and now they want us to pay water and house tax.
     Next to speak was Mick Wallace, independent TD, who explained that, according to legislation, nobody has to register until the end of March. But imagine the situation if hundreds of thousands or even a million households do not register. We will then be in a really strong position. He declared that he was one of nine TDs who are not going to pay the household tax.
     Clare Daly, Socialist Party TD, stated: “We have been told this is about getting money for local services. That is utter lies. This tax will not benefit local services, which have already been cut. You are getting less service, and you’re being asked to pay more.” She proposed making a stand collectively. It would be possible to make this charge non-collectable. She added: “Is it realistic to think they are going to pack the courts with us when not even a single rogue banker has ended up with a fine, let alone in jail? The Government cannot enforce these penalties if large numbers refuse to pay. We have to fight this, or every single one of us come 2014 will face annual household bills of over €1,000 per year.”

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