Phil Hogan Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Unpaid bills

Reilly defends Hogan’s ‘€4k of unpaid service charges on Portugal holiday home’

Hogan owes over €4,000 in unpaid service charges on a holiday home in Portugal, the Sunday Independent reports today.

THE HEALTH MINISTER James Reilly has defended his cabinet colleague Phil Hogan’s reported refusal to pay over €4,000 of service charges on a penthouse apartment in Portugal.

According to today’s Sunday Independent, the Environment Minister has an outstanding service charge of €4,320 on an apartment in Villamoura on the Algarve which he is in dispute with the complex’s management company over.

The Minister has been engulfed in controversy over the imposition of the €100 household charge which nearly half of those liable before have not paid even though the deadline for payment was yesterday.

“I don’t believe that you’re talking about the same things, you’re trying to compare apples and oranges,” Reilly insisted on RTÉ Radio this afternoon when asked if the non-payment in both cases was similar.

The Sunday Independent’s Jody Corcoran reported that Hogan has been “annoyed” that details of a private matter had been disclosed and quotes him as saying: “Would you pay a charge if you were unhappy with the service?”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme, Reilly said that the two matters were entirely different.

“I think we need to be very careful and clear about this,” he said. “The household charge is a state charge by local authorities. This matter of Minister Hogan and a private company that provides services to the property he owns in Portugal is a civil matter between him and a private company.”

“I think what he is trying to indicate there is that there is a dispute about the level of service that contracts to when he went and bought that property and engaged with that company and the service he is getting.”

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