Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Byrne has demanded to know why Meath developments exempt from the Household Charge now find themselves with property tax bills. The government has given a bizarre excuse – that there has been a sudden and dramatic reduction in the number of unfinished developments and estates over the past year.
Senator Byrne said: “Fine Gael and Labour need to explain to residents in areas such as Ledgewidge Hall in Slane why they qualified for an exemption to the Household Charge last year but now have to pay much more in property tax. Are people really expected to believe that unfinished developments and ghost estates in Meath and across the country have just been fixed in the past 12 months?
“There is also a separate concern about people living in houses in Meath that are affected by pyrite. It seems they will have to pay for the expensive certified pyrite test before being able to apply for an exemption to the property tax.
“I have met people on the doors in this bye-election campaign that genuinely don’t know how they will find the money to pay the property tax. It’s caused a lot of anxiety.”
Other areas across Meath East that we exempt from the Household Charge but are now liable for the property tax include:
- Churchfields, Kealahill, Ashbourne
- Ledgewidge Hall (Phase 1), Drogheda Road, Slane
- Williamstown Stud, Clonee
- Crannog, Dunshaughlin
- Slan Duff View, Navan Road, Kentstown
Senator Byrne commented: “Serious questions remain about how exactly the Environment Minister Phil Hogan arrived at this list. Fianna Fáil has tried to raise this issue in the Dáil today only to be met with a characteristically glib response.
“Specifically on the houses affected by pyrite the cost of getting a fully certified test for homeowners in Meath can run into four-figure sums. These homeowners should be supported by the €50m fund provided to the Pyrite Resolution Board. It will be a source of huge anger to people whose homes are badly damaged that they’re now getting property tax bills landing on their doorsteps. The average cost put on fixing the pyrite problem in a house is €45,000.
“I think it’s becomingly increasingly clear in this campaign this government does not need another TD and that the people of Meath East actually need a strong voice in the Dáil to speak up for them and the difficulties they’re facing.”