70% have paid household charge
Published 27/12/2012 | 12:39
More than 1.1 million homeowners have paid the controversial household charge.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan hit out at those who campaigned against the levy while thanking those who paid it. Mr Hogan said when the charge was introduced 12 months ago there were plenty of doom merchants who said people would not pay.
"How wrong they were," he said. "Seventy per cent of those liable to pay the charge have done so and I commend all those households for doing the right thing.
"We had elected representatives who actively encouraged people to break the law and not pay the charge. These self-same people are now calling for more funding for local authorities and at the same time encouraging people not to pay."
A total of 1.126 million properties registered for the charge - including 22,334 waivers - which saw 113.35 million euro collected in revenue for local authorities. The 100 euro levy was rolled out last January as an interim measure before the permanent property tax is imposed next year.
The new rate will be set at 0.18% of the property value, rising to 0.25% for homes worth more than one million euro. This will see the owner of a home worth the national average price of 157,400 euro paying nearly 300 euro every year. Homes with a certain level of pyrite damage will be exempt, as well as homeowners earning less than 15,000 euro and those living in ghost estates.
Mr Hogan said anyone who did not pay household charge this year is urged to hand over the payment by the end of April, when it will be capped at 130 euro including arrears.
From July 1, any outstanding household charge will be increased to 200 euro and added to local property tax due on the property. The Revenue Commissioners will collect the outstanding charge.
Sinn Fein accused the minister of spinning in the new year and claimed the 70% success rate was a defeat for the Government and in particular for Mr Hogan.
Brian Stanley, the opposition party's spokesman on the environment, said: "A significant 30% of households have not paid this unjust charge posing a serious challenge for the government."