Order of Business
28th of March 2012
I, too, seek an extension to the deadline for payment of the household charge, as there is huge confusion. As Members mentioned yesterday, persons paying commercial rates are receiving mixed signals from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and their local council, depending on to whom they are talking. The Government is penalising the old and those who do not have access to computers. It is making them pay extra charges for paying the charge over the counter, which is obviously inequitable. A charge or tax must be equitable. I do not know how anybody can say it is equitable to expect a person living on an old age pension to pay the same as a Minister who has a fine big house. That is the reason people are rebelling against the charge. It is said there is no link between the charge and the issue of debt write-down and paying back bondholders, but there is. The charge is being imposed because we are being forced to pay back these debts by our European colleagues. Members opposite say there is no link between the two and that the moneys raised will be used to fund services, but the money is going into the Central Fund and will be used to pay off debt.