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

Over half-a-dozen TDs say they will not pay the €100 tax when it comes into effect in the New Year with a number of Sinn Féin deputies considering their options.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh
Aengus Ó Snodaigh
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Updated 9.05pm

MORE THAN HALF-a-dozen TDs will not be paying the household charge when it comes into effect in the New Year it has emerged.

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh told the Dáil this evening that he had taken a personal, family decision not to pay the €100 annual charge and was prepared to face the consequences of fines and a tax of €2,500.

“I will stand with all others of like mind and will organise those who will take a similar stance. This tax is unfair and as our pre-budget alternative has shown not required and so should not be introduced,” he said this evening.

He joins a growing number of TDs who have said they are not going to pay the tax announced as part of last week’s budget and the legislation for which is currently going through the Oireachtas.

The Environment Minister Phil Hogan has described the actions of any TDs opposing the tax as “irresponsible”.

Earlier today, Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins urged a public boycott of the tax which he described as “unjust”. Under the legislation households will be required to register with their local authority before March next year and pay the charge in full or arrange payment in instalments.

“We will arrive at the end of March with the vast bulk of the 1.6 million householders having boycotted this registration,” Higgins predicted.

His fellow United Left Alliance TDs, Clare Daly, Joan Collins, Seamus Healy and Richard Boyd Barrett have all indicated they will not pay the charge.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this evening said he would not be paying an “unjust, socially regressive charge”.

Sinn Féin

Meanwhile, Ó Snodaigh’s party colleague Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis said he was not liable for the charge as he lives in a council house but that even if he was he would not pay it.

Sinn Féin TDs Michael Colreavy, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, and Martin Ferris all told TheJournal.ie that they were not yet sure if they would pay it. All other Sinn Féin deputies could not immediately be reached for comment.

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A party spokesperson said this evening:  ”We support those who choose not to pay it, but we’re not advocating non-payment. We’re not telling people not to pay, unlike other parties.”

Tommy Broughan, who lost the Labour Party whip after voting against bank guarantee legislation recently, said this evening that he would vote against the legislation imposing the tax but added: “I honestly haven’t thought about whether or not I will pay it.

Asked if he supported TDs who will not be paying it, he said: “I respect their right to take a point of view.”

Fianna Fáil’s environment spokesperson Niall Collins told TheJournal.ie this evening that while he is opposed to the introduction of the charge, he would be paying it.

“We’re not advocating breaking the law and civil disobedience. I will pay it under protest,” he said.

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

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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