Higgins criticises 'outrageous' household charge move by Clare County Council
on 18/09/2012 11:05:28
He is seeking a special debate to be held on the Dáil on the issue this afternoon, and said he hopes people who are holding out against paying the household charge will not be put off by today's news.
"I urge the vast bulk of people who oppose this new imposition of tax, to bail out bankers and bondholders, to hold firm," he said.
"Otherwise, it's a gateway for massively increased taxation next year, in the so-called property tax, which people simply won't afford. People power has to win out here."
In a statement, the council said processing Higher Education Grants is done at a cost, and that the household charge was introduced to cover the cost of providing local services, such as assessing and processing grants.
"The assessment and processing of Higher Education Grants is carried out on an agency basis for the Department of Education and Skills, and is done at a cost (IT, Staff, Processes etc.) to Clare County Council," the statement read.
"The Household Charge was introduced to cover the cost of providing local services such as the assessing and processing grants, for which there is no charge to the customer in terms of a grant application fee.
"It is the policy of the Council to ensure that benefactors of services such as Higher Education Grants pay the Household Charge as required by law under the Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 / Local Government (Household charge) Regulations 2012.
"While any delay in relation to the processing of grant payments is regretted, early payment of the Charge will ensure no unnecessary delay in the payment of grants."