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Opposition TDs outline plans for Household Charge boycott

Socialists and others have outlined a campaign where they will urge 1.6 million households not to register for the charge.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Updated, 14.14

A GROUP OF opposition TDs have held a press conference outlining plans for a nationwide campaign urging householders to boycott the government’s €100 household charge.

The five TDs of the United Left Alliance, as well as Thomas Pringle, John Halligan, Mick Wallace and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan – have launched a campaign asking the public not to register for the Troika-backed charge.

The campaign follows last night’s approval by the Dáil of the legislation bringing the charge into effect. TDs passed all stages of the Bill by 90 votes to 47 in a vote after 10pm last night.

In those Dáil debates, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh became the latest TD to say he would not pay the charge – and was prepared to face a €2,500 fine as a result.

Three other Sinn Féin TDs said they had not decided on when they would follow suit. Another, Dessie Ellis, told TheJournal.ie that he would not pay the charge, but he is not liable for it as he lives in council housing.

Environment minister Phil Hogan yesterday admitted that the charge was not “fair” but insisted that the government would replace it within two years with a more balanced property tax.

He described the actions of the TDs encouraging a civil boycott of the tax as “irresponsible”.

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Socialist TD Joe Higgins kicked off the boycott campaign yesterday, when he told the Dáil that the tax was “unjust”.

The requirement that households register with their local authority meant the public had an opportunity to “have their own referendum on these ruinous austerity policies”.

“We will arrive at the end of March with the vast bulk of the 1.6 million householders having boycotted this registration,” he said. He last night added that the charge was “socially regressive”.

With the legislation on the charge having passed both houses of the Oireachtas, the legislation will be sent to President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law before Christmas.

Sinn Féin TD and independents say they won’t pay household charge

Higgins urges public to boycott ‘unjust’ €100 Household Charge

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Gavan Reilly

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