Emergency motion aims to unhinge Household Charge

An attempt to protect householders here in Donegal who are boycotting the Household Charge will come before Donegal County Council next week in the form of an emergency motion.

An attempt to protect householders here in Donegal who are boycotting the Household Charge will come before Donegal County Council next week in the form of an emergency motion.

The motion, to be tabled by Sinn Féin councillor Jack Murray, will call on Donegal County Council not to collect information which can be used against those who can’t pay the household charge

Cllr Murray has confirmed that he will submit an emergency motion to the next sitting of the Council which he hopes will provide some protection for those who are boycotting the household charge.

Cllr Murray says his motion is intended to undo the work of The Department of Environment by asking the council not to use the power given to it by the Household Charge Act to require utility companies to supply information relevant to the collection of the unfair tax.

His motion reads: “That Donegal County Council will not use the power it has been given by section 14 of the Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 to access information held by utility companies for the purpose of identifying potential liability to the household charge”.

Cllr Murray said: “With the impending deadline for payment of the charge on 31st March, I am submitting this motion in the hope that it will provide some protection for those who are unable to pay and those who are making a stand in solidarity with their neighbours who cannot afford to pay the tax.

“Section 14 of the Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 gives local authorities the power to require utility companies to supply information relevant to the collection of the household charge. This motion is intended to undo the work of the Dept of Environment by asking the council not to use the power given to it by the Act.”

He added: “It is easy to blame their colleagues in government and wash their hands of responsibility. This motion will allow them to put their money where their mouth is.”

He says Monday’s meeting will “be a chance for Donegal County Council to deliver a blow against this unfair tax”.