Household Charge: Republic’s government faces into most difficult period of term, so far

I was in conversation with a news anchor from France 24 François Picard the other day, and he asked me what news I had from my part of the world… I said, plainly enough, the same story we get every summer for three months… He replied in heart beat, ‘ah, the marching season‘… However in the other part of the island things these days are much more epic and more serious… we have crisis in part because our politicians don’t … Read more

#HouseholdCharge: Payment levels reach 1/3…

Thanks to Paul T for the heads up, but it seems that with just 48 hours to go a third of the eligible Irish population has now stumped up for the Household Charge… Meanwhile judging by the reaction of one senior civil servant on Morning Ireland, the government are expecting a last minute rush of payments by post (over a million paper forms have been sent out, and only a fraction have yet been returned), intimating (though not saying it) … Read more

25% have now paid their Household Charge…

That’s 1/4 of the population of the Republic stumping up for the 75% percent that haven’t. And more than a 5% jump in two days. Still not great, but it sounds a lot better than the one in five it was stuck at on Friday. RTE reports: More than 395,000 payments have been processed, with a further 38,000 received by post but not yet inputted into the system. The numbers processed have increased by almost 32,000 since yesterday afternoon. The … Read more

Fintan O’Toole: “Power corrupts, but so does a sense of powerlessness”

Bearing in mind some of the moral issues raised by the proposed boycott of the Household Charge, Fintan O’Toole nails a few home truths in his Irish Times column (h/t to the peerless and sainted Olivia O’Leary on RTE’s Drivetime this evening): We can’t take refuge, either, in comforting explanations for this deep-rooted amorality. The pat answer would be to link it to the decline of religion and in particular of the authority of institutional Catholicism. But the facts don’t … Read more

Household Charge, Promissory Note, Ard Fheis: the day before April Fools’ Day

While everyone is conveniently busy not paying the Household Charge by the 31st March, the clocks are ticking towards the same deadline for payment of a €3.06 billion promissory note for Anglo-Irish Bank. Fortunately, as reported by the Journal.ie, Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the Dáil last week that: The discussions with the European authorities on the general issue continue but we are now negotiating with the EU authorities, and principally with the ECB, on the basis that the €3.06 billion … Read more

Household Charge and the Home Owners and Landlords revolt…

Heard of the Republic’s new Household Charge? Well few other issues demonstrate the mess Irish democracy finds itself in than the ‘quick, get it out the door’ re-imposition of a domestic rate that’s not quite a domestic rate. It’s a flat rate tax, and will cost just €100 this year. But with a week to go before it’s due there is barely concealed panic in government over the poor payment rate. The Minister behind its implementation Phil Hogan sent his … Read more

Household Charge and the problem of unreformed and unaccountable local government

Talk to any politicos in London, or indeed anyone politically aware enough to notice in other parts of England and you’ll hear them heap praise on Ireland’s determination to get itself out of the deep bog the bank guarantee dropped it into. But the funding mess is being further complicated by the government’s determination to fast track what’s called a household charge. To those of us living in the UK, that’s an equivalent of the regional or district rates. This … Read more