The Data Protection Commissioner has described as a ”disturbing development” the proposed use of information from utility bills for the collection of the new household charge.
Billy Hawkes said the move represented an extension of the powers of the State. He said he hoped that the use of any information from ESB or other bills should be minimal.
Owners of residential properties must pay the €100 charge by March 31, with an estimated 6,000 having signed up already.
An online system – www.householdcharge.ie – has been set up allowing home owners to register their households and to make payment with a credit or debit card. Payment can also be made by cheque, postal order or at local authority offices.
The household charge will pave the way for a full blown property tax either next year or in 2014.