Sinn Féin to launch bill to reverse household charge

Sinn Féin spokesperson on environment, community & local government Brian Stanley has announced that he intends to introduce a bill that will reverse the household charge.

Sinn Féin to launch bill to reverse household charge

Sinn Féin spokesperson on environment, community & local government Brian Stanley has announced that he intends to introduce a bill that will reverse the household charge.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the bill, Deputy Stanley said: “The bill, entitled Local Government (Household Charge) (Repeal) Bill 2012, aims to repeal the household charge and allow the Department to reimburse those households that have already paid it.

“Sinn Féin will be tabling the bill during private members’ time in June," Deputy Stanley said.

"Meanwhile we intend to run a positive, proactive ‘Back the Bill’ campaign. This campaign will be inclusive and community-based. We will be using the next few months to lobby and encourage TDs from all parties, including government parties, to vote for our bill in June.

“To date the household charge has been a disastrous episode for the government and in particular for the Minister of Environment, Phil Hogan," Deputy Stanley said.

“The vote in June will give the minister the opportunity to undo some of the damage his charge has inflicted on the coalition."

Trade union Mandate said it supported the bill as it felt the charge disproportionately affects those on lower incomes.

However Mandate General Secretary John Douglas said the union will support the Government in introducing a fair and progressive property tax.

“One of the causes of the country’s current economic difficulties was our over-reliance on transaction taxes like Stamp Duty," Mr Douglas said.

"In order to rectify this situation we need to put a proper tax system in place and a property tax needs to be part of that – however, one that is fair and progressive.

“The household charge is unfair and regressive because it levies every household – whether they have an income of €10,000 or €1,000,000 – the same amount of money, €100.

"This is simply not right."

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