Fianna Fáil proposes series of exemptions to Household Charge – Ó Domhnaill

Vulnerable groups and struggling families will not have to pay


Fianna Fáil has proposed a series of amendments to the Government Bill on Household Charges to ensure that the most vulnerable people will not have to pay the €100 flat rate annual charge from next month.

Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill moved the Fianna Fáil amendments in Seanad Éireann this evening (Wednesday, 07 December).

“The Government postponed publication of this Bill at the very last minute in order to stifle democracy and avoid any challenges to legislation that will affect every single household in this country.  The aim was clearly to get their Bill passed quickly without proper debate so that a flat-rate household charge can be slapped on every home in the country from next month on, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Fianna Fáil does not agree with the way in which this charge is being imposed.  We have put forward a series of amendments to ensure that homes bought under the Affordable Housing Scheme are exempt from the charge, as well homes bought between 2004 and 2011 where stamp duty was paid and homes bought through teh Shared Ownership Scheme.

“Just nine short months ago before they came into power, the Labour Party in particular were very vocal in their opposition to flat-rate property or household charges on private residences. Labour vowed to fight any such charge, insisting that it “cannot be set in place before 2014”. Furthermore it called for exemptions from such property charges on the basis of “the need to take account of those who have recently paid large sums in stamp duty or who are in negative equity”.

“Fine Gael also said that the “flat rate charge means that owners of houses in standard neighbourhoods will pay as much as the owners of mansions.”.  They have abandoned this principle without any explanation or justification.

“I am urging Labour and Fine Gael to remember where they stood on this issue just a few months ago, and to support the constructive amendments tabled by Fianna Fáil to ensure that the household charge is implemented in a much fairer way.”

Posted: Dec 7, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized