Belfast Telegraph

Kenny makes household charge appeal

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has made a last-ditch appeal to the public to register for the controversial household charge.

With less than 24 hours until the deadline, he pleaded with the million and more people who have still not paid the 100 euro levy.

"I know that new taxes are never popular," said Mr Kenny in his opening address at the Fine Gael ard fheis.

"The household charge is no exception. But it is needed to fund essential local services."

The Department for Environment said the number of householders who have paid at end of business on Friday was 617,000.

Mr Kenny said: "I urge others to make their contribution to the restoration of sound public finances in this country by registering between now and the deadline at midnight tomorrow."

Fine Gael's 76th annual conference kicked off just hours after a new Red C poll for Paddy Power emerged showing overall support for the party.

Speaking before the ard fheis, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said he was optimistic the public would support the charge.

Mr Hogan said: "I think it's great to see so many people wanting to comply with the law in spite of the provocation and intimidation."

The Fine Gael-Labour coalition hopes to raise around 160 million euro from the charge - money which will be used to fund public services such as footpath and parks maintenance, and public libraries.

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