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93 per cent of homes haven’t paid household charge yet

Figures provided by the Department of the Environment show that only one out of every 15 households has paid up so far.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

ONLY ONE out of every 15 households liable for the government’s new Household Charge has so far registered to pay for the charge, new figures show.

Data supplied by the Department of the Environment to TheJournal.ie shows that as of yesterday afternoon, some 103,916 homes had paid the €100 fee, which is a precursor to full water and property taxes in the coming years.

With government estimates projecting the charge would raise €160 million, based on the presence of approximately 1.6 million households in the country, the figures mean that just under 6.5 per cent of homes have registered so far.

This is despite the fact that over half of the three-month window for homeowners to register for the charge has now elapsed.

Registrations for the charge opened on January 1, with owners of qualifying property obliged to pay up by March 31 or face penalties of between 10 and 30 per cent depending on the delay.

Late payment interest is also charged on the payment, at a rate of 1 per cent per month, meaning that homeowners who don’t pay up by March 2013 would be liable to a charge of €147 instead of the usual €100.

Owners of properties in unfinished ‘ghost’ housing estates, and certain other properties, are not obliged to pay the fee, which forms part of the deal between the government and the EU-IMF lenders.

79 per cent of registrations for the charge have been made online, where 22 per cent of payments have been made through direct debit.

The Department of the Environment said it did not consider the number of registrations to be low as of yet, given that the deadline for paying the charge was still over six weeks away.

“We would expect numbers of registrations to climb sharply as the deadline approaches,” the spokesman said.

The Department is in the process of delivering leaflets to every home in the country advising people of how they can pay the charge.

This morning SIPTU’s national executive called on the government to suspend the charge, describing it as “unfair and regressive”.

Read: SIPTU calls for suspension of ‘unfair’ household charge >

Gallery: TDs take to the streets to urge boycott >

Explained: Who exactly has to pay the €100 Household Charge? >

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Gavan Reilly

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