Household charge protest in Newbridge

The Kildare Campaign against the Household Charge held a protest outside Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon’s office on Moorefield Road in Newbridge on Saturday.

The Kildare Campaign against the Household Charge held a protest outside Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon’s office on Moorefield Road in Newbridge on Saturday.

About 50 members attended to show their opposition to the controversial property tax which was introduced by the government last year.

“Local T.D.s Martin Heydon (FG) and Jack Wall (Labour) were elected by promising not to introduce any more taxes and to renegotiate the banking debts,” said Sinn Féin representative Mark Lynch.

“This local property tax is a progressive, rising tax which gives the government rights well beyond what they should have. The Government is bullying people into paying the tax by directly taking it off your wages or through Revenue entering your house. We will fight this unjust unfair tax in Kildare with protests and stand alongside those who cannot afford to pay this tax.”

Protesters carried placards that read “Government Out/IMF Out” and “Defend Rural Ireland”, while leaflets were distributed to the passing public informing them about the details of the Tax.

Deputy Heydon, who was not in his office at the time of the protest, said he would be willing to meet with a delegation of the campaigners in the future.

“I’m happy to meet a delegation of constituents who have concerns over the property tax at any stage,” he said. “I have offered to do this in the past, but the offer was never taken up yet.”

Meanwhile, homeowners will receive an estimated value of their home and property tax due in March in a letter from the Revenue.

This will include a notification of an estimated amount of local property tax, a booklet on the operation of the tax, valuation procedures and payment methods and a form for completion.

The local property tax payable on the market value of a property is to come into force from July and will be administered by Revenue.

Revenue will write to residential property owners, and the completed forms with a self-assessment of property value will have to be sent back to Revenue by May 7 on paper, or May 28 electronically.

- Paula Campbell