The level of income tax will go up in December’s Budget if 600,000 homeowners continue to refuse to pay the household charge, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has warned.
Mr Hogan also said anti-household charge protesters refusing to pay the levy would be directly responsible for cuts to their own local authority services.
His announcement comes just days after he withdrew millions of euro worth of funding from local authorities around the country over people’s failure to pay the €100 charge by March 31st.
“The people that haven’t paid will be responsible for cuts in essential services and local government if they don’t pay between now and the end of the year.
“The alternative to that is to put more taxation on work and working people, including some people who have already paid the charge and do not want to pay any more tax,” he said.
The Revenue Commissioners have been given the job of collecting the property tax, which will take over from the household charge next year. Mr Hogan said the amount to be charged to households remained unknown but that the finance minister would be a “key” decider on what the property tax would be.
As of last weekend, there were 992,924 properties registered for the household charge. More than 600,000 more households have yet to pay up and this has left the Government with at least a €60m shortfall in the levy’s collection.