Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Niall Collins has today published a Bill to amend the Household Charge legislation, extending the deadline for payment until the end of September and addressing some of other flaws in the initial legislation. Deputy Collins has published the legislation following the Government complete mismanagement of the implementation of the charge.
Deputy Collins said: “The whole process surrounding the Household Charge has descended into a farce, entirely of the Government’s own making. The Tánaiste has made matters worse by saying the charge could be paid through post offices. This is totally misleading. While the forms are available at the post office the charge itself cannot be process in the same way a household utility bills can. Fianna Fáil has maintained from the outset that more exemptions were needed and that the Government should apply the charge on the principle of ‘ability to pay’.
“In light of the Government’s complete failure to manage this process we called for an extension to the deadline for payment. I have now published the Local Government (Household Charge) (Amendment) Bill 2012 which amends the Government’s law. It makes the Household Charge fairer and gives people until the end of the September to pay the charge and includes a provision for payment by instalments.
The dates on or before which payment of the 4 instalments of €25 shall be paid are as follows:
(i) The first instalment payment to be made on or before 30 September 2012;
(ii) The second instalment payment to be made on or before 31 October 2012;
(iii) The third instalment payment to be made on or before 30 November 2012;
(iv) The fourth instalment payment to be made on or before 31 December 2012.
Deputy Collins said: “We have also made it clear in this amending legislation that the private residences of Ministers of the Government are not exempt from the charge, clearing up confusion in the initial legislation.
“I am urging the Government to act quickly, accept this legislation and clear the way for it to pass all stages of the Dáil and Seanad before the Easter recess at the end of next week. TDs from all parties must act to ease the fear and anxiety that has been created by this charge and the manner in which it has been handled by the Government.”