WHILE THERE is much debate about the property tax, water charges and septic tank saga one South Wicklow woman says that the people of Ireland need to get out on the streets and voice their opposition.
Mary McDonald from Avoca lives with her husband in Kilmacoo. Both are in receipt of the state pension and believe that the taxes they are being pressured to pay are not even benefitting local service.
'We, like many other live in a rural area. There are no street lights, no paths, no public transport. We live two and a half miles from the nearest bus stop which once in Arklow leaves an hour later. The rural community is not well served at all and yet we are being asked to pay these taxes,' Ms. McDonald says.
While the McDonalds will be hit with water and property taxes like the rest of the population they are also amongst the thousands of homeowners who could be faced with a hefty bill in order to update their septic tank.
'We built our own septic tank when we were married and built our house in 1968. If those living in urban areas can have their tanks looked after free of charge then why can't rural dwellers? There is a paltry grant available but we don't even know how much it would cost to upgade. It could be up to €20,000. We have spent all our lives looking after ourselves, paying our taxes. We provided our own home and now when we are on the pension we are faced with all these taxes. Who would be able to afford that?' 'I don't mind so much about the water charges as we need clean water and are willing to pay for pumping and sanitation but the other taxes are just a way to bail out more bondholders. They can dress it up whatever way they like but that is the reality.' As part of the national campaign CAWHT Mary has attended various public meetings and marches in Dublin and Wicklow. 'I cannot understand why more people are not out on the streets showing the government how they feel. Around 300,000 people did not pay the household charge yet they are not coming out in protest. People have had enough and they need to show they mean business.'