The Local Government Agency which is collecting the Household Tax and Minister for the Environment Hogan are tonight furiously spinning the registration figures to try and put a positive spin on what is a disaster for the government in terms of the huge opposition that exists in society to their new tax.
The honest facts are as follows: The 2011 Census reported just under 2 million houses in the State. 129,000 are Local Aurhority dwellings so they do not have to be registered. That leaves 1.86 million houses that must register according to Minister Hogan’s law.
On the figures reported at 6.00pm this evening (617,000), ONE THIRD have registered and TWO THIRDS have not. This is the only honest way to report the current situation.
A baseline figure of 1.6 million households is attempted to be used as the government estimate of the number who are expected to pay after waivers are excluded. Everything received by the Agency is then put against this baseline. This is dishonest. it is an attempt to make the current disastrous figures look somewhat better.
The Agency claims it has tens of thousands of forms in post bags. These have not been processed so there is no way to say whether those sending them in are registering and claiming a waiver or registering and paying.
The only baseline that can honestly be used is the 1.86 million houses which are supposed to be registered.
The fact is that there is a massive Boycott of the Household Tax because ordinary people see it correctly as the introduction of a new tier of parallel taxation that can quickly go to €1,000 per year and beyond – an intolerable burden. They are also protesting against the disastrous effects of the bailout of the financial markets system that has wrecked their living standards, hugely damaged public services and deeply depressed the domestic economy with horrific unemployment and forced emigration. The huge opposition amounts to a powerful demand for a new policy to replace discredited austerity.