Monday 23 January 2017

Emer O'Kelly: How attempting to pay new household charge has pushed my buttons

Emer O'Kelly spent several frustrating hours online trying to do the right thing and pay the tax

Published 08/01/2012 | 05:00

IT'S 12.26 on Thursday, January 5. I have been at the computer since 11.02, attempting to pay my household charge. Yesterday, I spent almost an hour trying to "create an account" so I could do just that. I am in a filthy temper.

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So, before I tackle the incompetent, ludicrous, inadequate and unsuccessful website that is supposed to be "up and running" for payment, let me tell you a story.

I bought my house in the mid-1980s. Lots of younger people think that those of us who went through that recession actually had it dead easy. Well, we didn't. We were at the pin of our collars, particularly single people and young marrieds with only the husband working (most women hadn't yet grown up enough to believe that they should contribute financially to their own keep and that of their children). The rule of thumb was meant to be that your mortgage repayments ideally should be no more than one-third of your take-home salary. Just like now, anyone who followed that dictum would have been living in rented accommodation forever.

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