THE Government "will get its money some how, some way".
That was the stark warning this morning as the deadline loomed for the Household Charge.
Latest figures show that 550,000 have now coughed up the €100 charge -- meaning that in order for every household to be registered by midnight tomorrow, 18 people a minute will have to sign up.
Chief executive of the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), Paul McSweeney, warned today that those who fail to pay "will be caught eventually".
"The State will get its money some how, some way," he said. However he admitted it will take weeks to clear the backlog of post that has arrived in recent days.
The LGMA will not start to go after defaulters until they have sorted out the registered households first.
Mr McSweeney explained that his officials are expected "a deluge of post" next week.
So far 83pc of those who have registered have done so online.
After the deadline has passed at midnight and the backlog has been cleared, officials will compile a database of unpaid homes using information from the land registry and other sources.
"We would anticipate that in the first incidence we will be spending letters to people. We're not in the business of trying to hound people or go door-to-door," said Mr McSweeney today.
Public Reform Minister Brendan Howlin denies the policy has been a shambles.
"If that money isn't realised, there is no other sources for that. Local government sources will be at a loss for every euro that is not paid," he said.
-- KEVIN DOYLE