A number of TDs are refusing to pay the controversial new household charge of €100, which comes into force in January.
The Socialist Party’s Joe Higgins and Clare Daly and independent TD Thomas Pringle have all said they will not pay the charge and have urged the public to boycott it also.
Deputy Daly, who was jailed in 2003 over the anti bin tax campaign, was the first to oppose the charge, while speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday night.
Despite being warned by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan that those who did not pay would be pursed with charges of up to €2,500, but Ms Daly still described the new charge as “reprehensible”.
She said the government’s game was to “open up a new tier of local taxation which will see ordinary people facing bills in the next two to three years of more than €1,000 plus per household.”
Regarding the penalties, she said they were “really punitive” and warned that the government “can’t bring everyone to court,” citing that of the 1.4 million householders eligible for the charge, at best 5% could be brought to court.
She added that the idea of judges “imposing heavy sanctions on ordinary people while not a single banker has ended up in jail will not be tolerated”.
“I will not be paying the household charge and I will not register to pay it”, she said and warned the Government “you’re going to face an almighty battle on this issue.”
Meanwhile her Socialist Party colleague Joe Higgins has called on people to boycott the charge, saying the government could not “coerce” all the householders in the country into paying.
Deputy Higgins said this was an opportunity for the public to “have their own referendum on these ruinous austerity policies.”
He predicted that the “vast bulk” of people wouldn’t have paid by the end of March and predicted that a boycott could “break this unjust tax”.
His comments were echoed 24 hours earlier by independent TD Thomas Pringle, who called on people to support a campaign not to pay the new €100 household charge.
He said he would not be registering for the tax, nor would he pay it, describing it as a “tax too far.”