Carrick-on-Suir Town Council’s elected members are campaigning to scrap the additional €10 administrative fee householders opting to pay their €100 household charge at Co. Council offices must pay while no such charge applies to those who pay the levy on-line.
The Council’s members decided unanimously at this monthly meeting on Monday night to send a strongly worded letter to Environment, Community & Local Government Minister Phil Hogan expressing their total “abhorrence” of this extra fee and calling for it to be abolished.
And they also urged the Minister to make it possible for people to pay the Household Charge at any local authority office, not just Co. Council headquarters in Clonmel.
Independent Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin, who brought the issue to the attention of his fellow councillors, slammed the €10 administration fees as discriminatory to those who don’t have computer or internet access and described it as an extra “stealth” tax.
He recounted that a constituent went into the Co. Council offices in Clonmel to pay his €100 and nearly “had a heart attack” when he was told he has to pay this extra €10.
“It’s not good enough. Not everyone is computer or internet literate. I think we should take a stand on this,” he declared.
Mayor Patsy Fitzgerald agreed that it was wrong to require people to pay an extra €10 while Fianna Fail Cllr Kieran Bourke said it was “absolutely despicable” that there was an extra €10 charge on people who would struggle enough to pay the €100.
Cllr Bourke said some facility should be put in place to allow people pay the charge at Town Council offices and not just the Co. Council office
Independent Cllr Richie O’Neill pointed out that he knew a woman, who hadn’t transport to Clonmel and was instead sending off a postal order of €10 a week to the Co. Council in Clonmel to pay the Household Charge. She couldn’t afford to pay the charge in one go.