Belfast Telegraph

Kenny ignores tax boycott threat

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ignored threats of a potential mass boycott over the 100 euro household charge the Government is to impose in the New Year.

Mr Kenny defended the tax, which works out at two euro per week, even though it could see householders fined up to 2,500 euro if they fail to register before the March 31 deadline.

"This is a charge of two euro per week and it's going to be used for very vital services in each area around the country," said Mr Kenny.

But Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins warned of a mass boycott, saying there is a huge campaign calling on Ireland's 1.6 million householders to refuse to pay the charge.

"This is their opportunity to have their own referendum on these erroneous austerity policies," said Mr Higgins.

"Do you know that the attitude of the people out there is if you bring one to court on March 31, they will all go?"

Independent TD Thomas Pringle has already refused to pay the household charge and has called on other TDs to follow his lead.

He described it as a tax too far and revealed the vast majority of people in his constituency of Donegal have claimed they will not pay what they have described as the unfair charge.

"This is an opportunity for the Irish people to have their say," Mr Pringle told RTE. "I think it's a legitimate form of protest for people to exercise their right not to register for this tax."

The Taoiseach said the charge is expected to raise 1.6 billion euro, which will go towards funding local authorities, including fire services, library services and water, while pointing out there will be a number of people exempt from the charge, including those on social welfare, people living in so-called ghost estates, and tenants in local authority housing.

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