A small number of opposition TDs will hold a press conference later today outlining plans for a nationwide campaign urging householders to boycott the government’s €100 household charge.
The five TDs from the United Left Alliance – backed by other independents including Thomas Pringle and John Halligan – will call on the public not to register for the charge.
The campaign follows last night’s approval by the Dáil of the legislation bringing the charge into effect, with it voted through by 90 votes to 47.
In the debate prior to the vote, Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh became the latest TD to say he would not pay the charge – and was prepared to face a €2,500 fine as a result.
Three other Sinn Féin TDs said they had not decided on whether or not they would follow suit, while Dessie Ellis said he would not be paying it but admitted he was not liable for it as he lived in council housing.
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan yesterday admitted that the charge was not “fair” but insisted that the government would replace it within two years with a more balanced property tax.
He described the actions of the TDs encouraging a civil boycott of the tax as “irresponsible”.
Socialist TD Joe Higgins kicked off the boycott campaign yesterday, when he described the charge as “unjust”.
The requirement that households register with their local authority meant the public had an opportunity to “have their own referendum on these ruinous austerity policies,” he said.
“We will arrive at the end of March with the vast bulk of the 1.6 million householders having boycotted this registration,” he said. He added that the charge was “socially regressive”.
With the legislation on the charge having passed both houses of the Oireachtas, the legislation will be sent to President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law before Christmas.