Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has called on the government to withdraw their plans to levy the household charge on March 31. His call comes as the High Court gives leave for a challenge to the charge on the grounds that the legislation and the statutory instruments, as well as Gaeltacht place-names are all in English only.
“This is typical of a government that has forgotten that 500,000 daily Irish speakers exist. Irish speakers’ language rights have been ignored by a government that is at best indifferent to the Irish language and at worst hostile.There seems to be a reasonable chance that the government will end up with egg on its face with regards to this challenge. Not only have 85% of the population decided not to sign up so far but it now looks likely that the legislation will be unconstitutional.The household charge is grossly unfair and much of the money raised will end up paying off private debt. There are progressive revenue raising alternatives that would raise equal amounts of funds if not more. The government’s plans to introduce the household charge are in disarray and they need to withdraw it,” he said.