Taking liberties with the household charge
Published 21/03/2012 | 05:00
I decided some time ago not to pay the €100 household charge. I believe this to be a defensible form of civil protest against a measure that hits the poorest hardest.
Tax resistance -- such as the withholding of this latest charge -- has been used for centuries. Our forefathers risked eviction or death when they refused to pay tithes or exorbitant rents during the Land War. American colonists refused to pay taxes to their putative overlords. French peasants risked everything when they refused to pay the corvee -- an enslaving tax on their labour. When there is an unjust tax, resistance is a political right and a moral stance.
The UN covenant on civil and political rights states: "All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."