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'Absolutely justifiable' to use allowances for boycott campaign - Higgins

The Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins has said it is okay that deputies use their travel allowances for the purposes of travelling the country urging people to boycott the household charge.

Joe Higgins
Joe Higgins
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE SOCIALIST PARTY TD Joe Higgins has defended the use of Dáil travel allowances for the purposes of travelling around the country urging people to boycott the household charge.

Higgins was speaking after his fellow Socialist Party deputy Clare Daly admitted that she had used her travel allowances for travelling to meetings held by the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes.

Daly revealed that she used the allowances to travel around the country “to represent the views of the people I was elected to represent” on TV3′s Tonight with Vincent Browne last week.

Oireachtas regulations stipulate that accommodation and travel allowances are provided for costs incurred by a member of the Dáil in the process of carrying out their work.

Higgins told Today on RTÉ Radio: “It is absolutely justifiable to use a travel allowance to build a people’s campaign of opposition to a vicious austerity tax.

“That’s my position and I will continue to maintain that and I’ve no doubt that the majority of people who are organised objecting to this new imposition would support that.”

He was speaking as the first letters were being sent out to those who have so far not paid the €100 household charge.

The letters will arrive at homes around the country today and will warn those who have not registered to pay of the consequences of not doing so including fines and a potential court appearance.

“This is a mass movement of ordinary decent taxpayers who have funded the PAYE system and every other system for generations in this country,” Higgins added.

Poll: Have you paid the Household Charge?

Read: First Household Charge reminder letters sent out

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Hugh O'Connell

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