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Charge is just another tax increase

With reference to the debate on the household charge, we are told by the powers that be the charge is for “fire and emergency services, maintenance and cleaning of streets, planning and development, etc.”

Yet, in the past while, one cannot get use of the fire brigade without receiving an invoice for their services; one cannot get planning permission, or start building, without the payment of substantial fees; and, if one is unfortunate to live in a new development, one cannot get one’s local council to take over the public areas of the development.

Your letter writer, Mr Noel Ó Coileain, (Mar 20) describes how income tax was increased to replace rates after their abolition in 1977. He failed to point out that, in the Rainbow Coalition of the 1990s, Minister Brendan Howlin diverted all annual motor tax revenue to the local authorities, for the provision of the same services the Government now claim we need to pay a household charge.

The annual motor tax paid by all car owners, regardless of use, is a contribution to the local councils. (In my case, over €1,400 a year.) This charge has been ratcheted up and up, to the extent that most family cars, pre-2008, are next nigh un-affordable for the ordinary person. The post-2008 taxation system has been a spectacular failure and looks like it will be ungraded in the near future, no doubt increasing the tax bills for thousands.

The household charge is nothing but an increase in the taxation the people have already been paying. To listen to some it would seem the local authority services have been provided free of charge when they have been paid for, by taxation, for time immemorial. The creation of a new tax, the household charge, does not mean the tapping of a previously untouched source of income; it will have to be paid out of either income or savings.

One’s domestic house is not a source of revenue, why should it be taxed as such? This household charge is poorly designed and hard to justify. One should have to pay for services received, but not multiple times.

Peadar Gill


Co Cavan


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