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Charity insists tenants should not be liable for household charge

A group representing landlords said its members would be forced to pass on the charge to tenants as TDs today outlined their reasons for not paying.

TDs under the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes banner at a press conference in Dublin today.
TDs under the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes banner at a press conference in Dublin today.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

HOUSING CHARITY THRESHOLD has said that tenants should not be liable for the household charge being brought into effect next year.

The comments come after the Irish Property Owners’ Association (IPOA) indicated that landlords should levy the household charge on their tenants when the €100 tax comes into effect next year.

The annual charge will need to be paid in full or households will need to have agreed an instalment plan by 31 March. Failure to pay will result in fines of upto €2,500.

Also today, a group of nine TDs officially launched a campaign opposing the charge and appeared at a press conference outlining why they were boycotting the charge and are urging other people to do so. The Minister for Environment said it was a PR stunt.

Threshold said today that under no circumstances should tenants be made liable for the charge.

It followed comments from IOPA chair Stephen Faughnan who said its members would be forced to pass on the extra cost due to the “huge burden of levies, taxation [and] compliance foisted on landlords in recent times.”

IOPA says that landlords should impose a €25 charge on tenants on a monthly basis to meet other charges imposed by the government.

Threshold chair Senator Aideen Hayden said in response: “I’m horrified that a national representative body would make such a misleading and irresponsible call.

“When the Department of the Environment introduced this charge in the recent Budget, it stated very clearly that owners – not occupiers – would be liable.”

Socialist Party TDs Clare Daly and Joe Higgins, independents Thomas Pringle, Mick Wallace, John Halligan, Seamus Healy and Luke Ming Flanagan as well as People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd Barrett and Joan Collins are all opposing the charge.

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At a press conference today Daly said that after the past few years of austerity measures, the household charge is “the straw to break the camel’s back” as she urged a nationwide boycott of it, RTÉ reports.

Last night, Boyd-Barrett told TheJournal.ie: “I fundamentally object to this regressive service charges which hits the poorer disproportionately to the well off. We need more progressive taxation, we need higher bands of tax on higher earners and on wealth.”

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has also said he will not pay the charge while other Sinn Féin TDs have told TheJournal.ie they are considering their options.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan has said that TDs urging a boycott is “irresponsible” and an “emotive PR stunt”.

Read: Opposition TDs outline plans for Household Charge boycott

Read: TDs say they won’t pay household charge

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Hugh O'Connell

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