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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Every home to get leaflet warning about €100 charge

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

Published 29/12/2011 | 05:00

THE Government will send a leaflet to every home in the country to ensure everyone knows about the controversial €100 household charge.

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All houses are to get the flyer -- even those who request no junk or unsolicited mail -- because it has been designated as an official "public service notification".

It has yet to be decided if forms for paying the tax will be included, but they must be delivered over a 10-day period in early February.

The charge comes into effect from January, and must be paid by March 31.

The Department of the Environment says the flyers will make sure people who haven't been reading newspapers or tuning into news bulletins are fully aware of the new charge.

A spokesman for the department would not put a cost on how much the leaflets and delivery will cost, since it had just been opened to tender.

It seems likely that An Post will be the favourite as an organisation with the logistical capacity to deliver the leaflets countrywide.

But EU rules dictate that all public contracts above a certain price threshold are open for companies across Europe to tender for.

The successful applicant must have a "satisfactory continuity plan to ensure delivery of the contract in the event of any aspect of their operations being disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances". The spokesman said this meant adverse weather conditions, rather than protests.

Value

Environment Minister Phil Hogan hopes the charge will raise €160m, but insists it will eventually be replaced with a property tax, the amount of which will be determined by the value of someone's house.

People in ghost estates and those on mortgage interest supplement will get a waiver from the tax, while those living in council estates will be exempt.

Fines for those who won't pay can be deducted from their wages or social welfare payments, as well as through the ESB and the taxman.

Irish Independent

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