Monday 27 February 2017

Hogan to face calls for charge waivers

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

ENVIRONMENT Minister Phil Hogan will come under pressure today to exempt many of those on low incomes from the new €100 household service charge.

Almost all households are set to be hit by the new combined property and water tax, to be signed off on by the Government today. But Social Protection Minister Joan Burton said she would be raising the issue of waivers for those on low incomes at the cabinet meeting.

The minister said she would be pressing ahead with cost-cutting measures, including a reform of the rent supplement system and negotiating discounts from utility providers for certain social welfare claimants.

The Government has the choice of bringing in a lower €100 charge with few exemptions or a higher €200 charge with a larger number of waivers.

The likely outcome is a sum of €100 with exemptions from payment for about 10pc of the 1.8 million households in the country.

Ms Burton said she was "enormously concerned" about the impact of the property tax.

"There are lots of people on low incomes who are working as well as people who are on low incomes who are on social welfare, who are on pensions, and I'm sure that will be discussed in detail at Cabinet. Certainly I will be raising those issues," she added.

Irish Independent

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