County councillor accuses minister of scaremongering over charge

A county councillor has rubbished threats of door-to-door collection of the household charge made by environment minister Phil Hogan.

A county councillor has rubbished threats of door-to-door collection of the household charge made by environment minister Phil Hogan.

Independent councillor John Campbell made the comments at the council’s monthly meeting after his motion calling on the council not to use its own personnel or hire private bodies to collect the household charge was ruled out of order.

The motion was ruled out of order after it was queried by Fine Gael councillor Bernard McGuinness. Cllr. Campbell said he has received assurances form the county manager that the council has no plans in place to start door-to-door reminders or collection of the household tax.

“There was no provision made in the council budget for these collection teams, the Minister made this decision off the cuff over the weekend in the face of the huge opposition rallies in Letterkenny, Dublin and Wexford,” Cllr. Campbell said.

“He did this without any thought to its implementation. It’s scaremongering, plain and simple.

“I also tabled a question to the county manager and the executive asking them to outline the strategy and procedures that are in place for the identification of those who don’t register and estimated expenditure of such provisions.

“The answer I got was that no strategy has been developed yet and no estimate of cost has been made.

“This seems incredible seeing as this burden on council resources was apparent since the household charge bill passed in December. I’m not happy with the answers I got and will be writing to the manager to say so.”