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Counties with lower incomes less likely to pay household charge

A comparison of household charge payments with CSO income data reveals a general correlation between payment and income.

Dublin, represented by John Cooper, has the highest incomes and the highest payment rate of the household charge - while Mark McHugh's Donegal is bottom in both charts.
Dublin, represented by John Cooper, has the highest incomes and the highest payment rate of the household charge - while Mark McHugh's Donegal is bottom in both charts.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

COUNTIES WHOSE RESIDENTS have a lower income show lower compliance rates with payment for the household charge.

Analysis by TheJournal.ie of data supplied by Phil Hogan last week, and CSO data on the estimated average income for residents in each county, shows that where individuals have higher incomes, payment levels for the charge have been higher.

The CSO data shows that Donegal, Monaghan and Offaly are the three counties whose residents had the lowest total incomes in 2009, the last year for which figures are available – and those same three counties also have the highest boycott rates for the household charge.

Similarly, people living in counties Dublin, Galway, Cork, Kildare, Meath and Limerick have both the highest average incomes and the highest rates of payment for the charge.

The average person in Donegal had a total income of €20,518 in 2009, with income of €17,708 after tax – the lowest in the country, coinciding with Donegal’s status as the county with the fewest eligible homes having paid the charge so far.

Of the eligible households in Monaghan, where residents had income of €18,011 after tax, only 28.1 per cent had paid the €100 charge as of last week.

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There are some anomalies in the comparisons: residents of Kerry have the fourth-lowest incomes, with an average after-tax income of €18,694 – but rank 11th of 27 counties in terms of the counties where eligible households have paid the €100 charge.

Similarly Louth, which has the sixth-highest income after tax, has the fifth-lowest record of payment for the household charge, at 34.5 per cent of eligible homes.

In full: County incomes versus Household Charge payments (PDF)

Read: Ulster counties lead table of household charge boycotts

More: People from Donegal have lowest income in Ireland

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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