Belfast Telegraph

Gilmore rejects tax payment concern

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has defended the Government's handling of the introduction of the household charge, despite confusion among the public over payment methods.

The Labour leader said it was understandable that communication difficulties have arisen in relation to the registration of the 100 euro levy, which is due on March 31.

"I do acknowledge there have been difficulties with the payment of the household charge, I do acknowledge there have been difficulties in relation to the communication of the household charge to householders," said Mr Gilmore.

"But I think to some extent that is understandable enough given this is a new method of payment."

Around 80% of householders have not yet registered for the flat levy, despite having just 10 days left until the deadline.

Moreover, it emerged last week that nearly half the population had not received Government leaflets outlining details of the charge and payment methods.

And despite the widespread belief that the 100 euro charge could be paid at post offices, the Government has since clarified that is not the case.

Earlier, Mr Gilmore insisted the public has a choice of easy ways to pay the fee - either online, through their local authorities or through the post office.

However, no direct payment can be made to or processed by An Post. Instead, householders can merely pick up the registration form from the post office and post it along with their payment.

The Irish Postmasters' Union criticised the Government for failing to make provisions for householders to pay the levy at their local post office.

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