Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sinn Féin tables motion and plans protest at Wicklow County council meeting opposing the Household charge

Sinn Féin County councillors John Brady and John Snell have tabled a motion on Wicklow County council calling on the Government to immediately scrap the grossly unfair household charge. It also instructs the council not to criminalise or initiate legal proceedings against anyone for non-compliance of the tax. The motion will be debated at the County council meeting on Monday 2nd April and SinnFéin has organised a protest to take place outside the council meeting to coincide with the debate.

Sinn Féin councillor John Brady stated "“Sinn Féin has been consistent in its opposition to this unfair charge. It’s now obvious that the charge is unworkable as much as it is unjust and the level of opposition is growing on a daily basis. Not only have 85% of the population decided not to sign up so far but it now looks likely that the legislation will be unconstitutional. The household charge is grossly unfair and much of the money raised will end up paying off private debt. There are progressive revenue raising alternatives that would raise equal amounts of funds if not more. The government’s plans to introduce the household charge are in disarray and they need to withdraw it"

"Sinn Féin have tabled this motion on Wicklow county council calling on the government to scrap the tax, it is quite evident that there is mass opposition to it and rightfully so, Wicklow county council must send the government the message to go back to the drawing board and implement a fairer tax that targets the wealthy in our society" Brady continued

Cllr Snell went on to say “People see this for what it is – a bank bailout. This money will not be invested in our local authorities - it will instead be handed over to the promissory note-holders and the bondholders of Anglo Irish Bank. There will be no extra benefits to any areas because of this tax, it just another means of extorting money from ordinary people who simply don't have anything left to give. The entire Sinn Féin team of public representatives in Wicklow have pledged to stand alongside the vast majority of people in Wicklow and refuse to pay the unjust tax"

Brady concluded "The government is stating that the policing of this unjust tax will come down to the local authorities and they will have to take people to court for non-compliance or non-payment of the charge. This is a crazy situation, the government introduced this very unpopular tax and then makes the local authorities do the dirty work.The Sinn Féin motion to Wicklow county council instructs the officials in the council not to criminalise or take any legal action against anyindividuals or households for either non registration or non paymentof the tax. It is very evident that this tax is not just unfair but it is totally unworkable and the government needs to immediately withdraw it. To coincide with the motion to the council, Sinn Féin has organised a protest outside the council meeting which will take place on Monday 2nd April at 1pm at the County council buildings in Wicklow town, and everyone opposed to the tax from whatever political persuasion and non are asked to try in and send a strong defiant message of opposition” Ends

The full Sinn Féin motion to Wicklow county council reads:

Wicklow county council strongly opposes the Household charge and we call on the Government to immediately scrap it. It is very evident that the massive non payment of the Household tax by Wicklow residents who simply can’t afford this additional unfair tax, will add to the huge shortfall in the €160 million in funding which the Government had expected from this tax. We therefore call on the Government to look at an alternative way of funding local authorities.We also instruct Wicklow county council not to criminalise or initiate legal proceedings against people for their inability to pay or their non compliance with the unfair and unjust Household tax.

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