Donegal North East Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue is calling on the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte to exclude charities, voluntary and community organisations and sporting clubs from the Public Service Obligation Levy (PSO).
Deputy McConalogue said: “The PSO levy is designed to compensate electricity suppliers for the additional costs they incur through using electricity generated by peat and renewable energy. It is charged to all electricity customers without exception. This annual fee is adding extra financial burden on the community and voluntary sector that is already struggling to meet an increase in demand for their services.
“Imposing a PSO levy on these groups could be described as ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’. I know some sports clubs that have to pay anything from €500 to €850 annually. This is an enormous extra burden on local clubs. Money raised for the community and voluntary sector is fundraised by volunteers and community activists who already pay the PSO levy at home. They provide vital services in the community and many people are relying on their services now more than ever, whether it is sports and recreation, community centres or charitable work.
“The PSO levy for 2011/2012 is €19.33 and €64.95 for small to medium sized businesses. These rates are calculated at the current rate of VAT and will increase when the Government imposes a 2% VAT hike next year. The PSO levy can be much much higher for community centres, GAA and football clubs. It is unfair to expect them to pay this and I am calling on the Government to introduce exemptions.”