On Tuesday the Government finally announced the implementation of the long talked about household charge that will eventually be replaced by a full property tax based on site valuations in 2014 (if the country’s financial survival requires it) and a water metering system as part of the terms of the EU/IMF bailout.
The charge will come into effect on January 1, 2012 and will be imposed on 1.6 million people, therefore bring in nice sum of €160 million. The money raised will be used to fund local services such as fire brigades, street lighting etc.
However the introduction of the new tax has been heavily criticized by some of the opposition, organisations and homeowners:
- A total of 250,000 households will be exempt — including people in receipt of mortgage interest supplements and those living in social housing owned by local authorities,
- People on low incomes will be forced to pay the exact same as those who can “more easily afford the cost”,
- Similar if you live in a 1-bed apartment or a 6-bed house the tax is the same,
- Also those who have their own water supply and/or those with private water schemes will have to pay the same charge regardless.
Fine Gael Environment Minister Phil Hogan also did not deny or rule out that the tax could increase over the years before the new property tax & water metering charges come into effect in 2014.
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