Inishowen shouldn’t be punished for low payment of household charge

A Buncrana councillor has said it’s no surprise Donegal is the least compliant in paying the household charge because it’s a neglected county.

Sinn Fein councillor Jack Murray says he doesn’t want to see Inishowen, and Donegal, punished for its ‘overwhelming resistance’ to the household charge.

Cllr Murray told the Journal: “At 25 per cent Donegal has the lowest uptake of the household charge in the 26 counties.

“This is to be expected in a county which has been neglected by consecutive governments in terms of investment in infrastructure and job creation.

“Obviously a county with an unemployment level which is way above the national average will have a higher percentage of people who cannot pay new taxes.

“Wealthy householders in the leafy suburbs of Ballsbridge and Dun Laoghaire may be more willing to pay the €100 fee as they are happy with the services they are provided. They do not have to manoeuvre potholes everyday or battle for adequate social housing. They are not watching there children emigrating in their thousands.

“Government threats to penalise councils with a low uptake of the household charge is another move to protect the wealthy and penalise the poor. The government is telling those families who didn’t pay because they were dissatisfied with local services that they will now get worse.”

He said it’s an ‘outrageous position’ and further evidence that the government is completely out of touch with the reality faced by ordinary people.

He’s calling on both Fine Gael and Labour councillors in Donegal, who have direct contact to their colleagues in government to stand up to the ‘bullyboy tactics’ of their parties and defend the interests of the people they represent.”