Household charge agency staff received death threats
on 20/08/2012 00:00:00
Revenue have been advised to set up varied payment methods for property owners when they take over collecting the tax, including allowing for stage payments directly out of pay packets and possibly through mobile phones.
Mr McSweeney told the Irish Examiner that letters to property owners warning them of legal action and to pay the €100 charge plus interest would continue up until Christmas.
Mr McSweeney revealed how gardaí are investigating who was behind the posting of ammunition to the LGMA. "We had the pleasure of having a shotgun cartridge sent in the post which I reported to the gardaí. But this won't deter us from the work that we have to do," he said.
Gardaí from Kevin St station have investigated the sinister package but no suspects were identified.
"Dealing with the population at large, there's always going to be some extreme people. The gardaí took it [the cartridge] away. There were no fingerprints or anything on it," he said.
Mr McSweeney said his staff had received threats and abuse and he had received hate mail in the post and online.
"Our staff in the call centre, a lot of them took verbal abuse and we had to tell them you don't have to take that. I personally have received hate mail. They're not obviously going to identify themselves as being part of the campaign. I received hate mail, I received it online, I received it on Facebook."
To date, 61% of property owners have registered for the charge, paying over €100m. Revenue have been advised to allow for all methods of payments, including paying by mobile phones and through instalments directly out of pay packets.
Mr McSweeney added: "We're in the process of helping them [Revenue] get set up. From the middle of next year, we understand they will be rolling this out.
"You can do a direct debit from your bank account or deduct it from your wages. We think it would be a great way of collecting the money. It spreads payments for everybody out right across the year."
He suggested the setting-up of the LGMA to oversee the household charge collection was rushed. "We got four months' notice. The household charge [system] was like an airplane that was still being built as it went down the runway."