Household Charge – Breen anxious to see easy-pay methods available.

March 22nd, 2012 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D. & Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs & Trade said today (Wednesday) that he is very anxious to see easy-pay methods available for people in order that they can pay the household charge.

“As the deadline approaches for the payment of the €100 charge, the majority of calls which I am receiving are from people who are willing to pay the charge, however, under the current system, they are finding it very difficult to do so.”

“Not everybody is on the internet and they do not pay any bills online. I have spoken to quite a number of others who do not have a bank account and who are willing to pay the charge in cash in instalments. I spoke to one man today who told me that he went into his Local Authority Office with €25 to pay his first instalment and they were unable to take his money. He told me that he is willing to pay the charge but he is unable to pay it altogether and does not have a bank account.”

“Several others have pointed to fact that while the Household Charge Application Forms are now being made available in Local Post Offices, the Post Office cannot process payments for this Charge.”

“Given the choice our Government would have preferred not to introduce this charge and we have made the charge as low as we could at €2 per week in order to make it as affordable as possible. Despite this there are a lot of genuine people out there who want to pay the charge and are currently finding it difficult to do so and these people need to be accommodated. And I would urge the Environment Minister Phil Hogan T.D. in advance of the 31st March 2012 deadline to instruct the County Managers in our Local Authorities to facilitate these people by allowing them to pay in cash and in instalments, particularly given the current difficult economic times.

“The majority of people are willing to pay the charge and making it easier for people to pay this tax by making easy-pay methods available is important in helping people to do so before the 31st March 2012.”