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Details on Household Charge penalties emerging

People paying the household charge now are liable for a charge of €111 because of late payment fees. But what about if they continue to refuse to pay it?

Environment Minister Phil Hogan
Environment Minister Phil Hogan
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

HOUSEHOLD CHARGE payments are currently being processed – and details are expected to be announced soon on how penalties for non-payment may be introduced.

A spokesperson from the Department of the Environment told TheJournal.ie that when the payments are processed the Department will compared the results to their data base of existing properties to determine which householders have not paid.

Those who have not paid will then be contacted to inform them that they now owe a fee on top of the payment.

Households paying the charge after the March 31 deadline face charges of 1 per cent interest each month, as well as flat fees of €10 for paying it within three months of the deadline. Households paying now are therefore liable for a charge of €111 rather than €100.

The legislation behind the charge also provides for fines of up to €2,500 for people who do not pay the charge on time.

Details are to be announced in the coming days of the system to be used for the imposition of penalties, according to RTÉ which states that the issue is to be discussed by Government ministers tomorrow.

It is not clear how many times householders will be contacted before legal proceedings may begin, but the spokesperson said that the process may be similar to when people do not pay their TV licence. He said that under the Fines Act, fine payment is at the discretion of the judge.

The Department is currently working with local authorities about the issue.

The late payment fees get bigger the longer the charge is left unpaid.

The number of households which have registered to pay the charge, or claim a waiver from it, passed 900,000 at the weekend, according to figures from the Local Government Management Agency.

Read: Household charge registrations creep over 900,000 barrier>

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