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Property tax on the double in dole error

Up to 26,000 people are set to be left short of cash this Christmas after having an extra week's property tax deducted from their social welfare.

A Department of Social Protection error has meant that the first week's payment for January was deducted this month instead of next month.

The mistake is being linked to the department's practice of making a double payment to welfare recipients in the week of December 15 and no payment this week, effectively giving the welfare recipient one payment a week in advance in the run-up to Christmas.


Around 26,000 people have opted to pay the tax by having it deducted from their weekly welfare payments.

Recipients would have been liable to make two weekly contributions towards their local property tax bill when they were given their 'double week', but instead an amount equal to three weeks of property tax was deducted.

The issue came to light after a number of people contacted Revenue when they spotted the higher property tax deduction.

It is not clear how much the overcharging amounted to because property tax bills differ according to the size of homes.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Social Protection regretted the "inconvenience".