Hogan holding firm on household charge deadline

Environment Minister Phil Hogan has reiterated this morning that there will be no extension to the deadline for payment of the household charge.

Hogan holding firm on household charge deadline

Environment Minister Phil Hogan has reiterated this morning that there will be no extension to the deadline for payment of the household charge.

Minister Hogan said it would be unfair to those who have paid so far, and fines will kick in from Saturday night for those who have not paid.

Around 400,000 people have so far signed up to the charge.

Minister Hogan has also defended the methods of payment, saying 83% of payments are being made online and people are turning up to the post office to get a form "in their droves".

"They can go into the office, they can get their form, complete it… they can buy their postal order and post it away to the household charge offices," he said.

"And the people are doing that in their droves - there are 57 black sacks of envelopes that have arrived in the past couple of days that have yet to be opened.

"People are responding to the fact that we need to fund local services, otherwise those services will be cut."

Separately Fingal County Manager David O'Connor has warned that failure to pay the €100 levy could result in service cuts and job losses.

Mr O'Connor said that if local authorities are not funded by the charge, the money will not be forthcoming from central Government.

"I would be nervous that in the second half of the year we could be looking at having to re-jig our budgets, perhaps having to look at people's full-time employment within our organisations," he said.

Meanwhile the campaign against the charge continues apace with opponents set to demonstrate on the streets of Dublin today.

Activists are set to assemble on Henry Street at 12.30pm to publicise the protest taking place at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis this Saturday.

Anti-charge campaigners will also distribute posters and leaflets being distributed nationwide at shops, schools and major gathering points.

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