Household Charge and water charges (taxes)

The Minister for the Environment intends to get cabinet approval for a flat rate household charge to be levied from next January. This is a prelude to the nationwide site valuation tax which will take some time to devise.

A flat rate tax to comply with EU/IMF deals is neither fair nor equitable.

I suggest that the minister goes away to think (again).

A self-assessed broad range of valuations estimated as of December 2011 should be introduced as a starter.

Valuation A – values less than €250,000

Valuation B – Values greater than €250,0001 and less than €500,000

Valuation C – Values greater than €500,000

These values should be increased by €50,000 for property in Dublin, Cork City, Galway City and possibly Limerick City

Some recognition of ability to pay must be included. This should be total household income rather than house head income. This looks like a weaver system all over again.

Otherwise, the lowest income and poorest will be hit hardest. This is blindingly obvious.

I am personally opposed to taxes on principal private residences but not to inheritance taxes.

A flat water tax of €170 is also mooted while metering is introduced. There is a straight forward justification for charging for water over and above EU/IMF deals. We cannot supply water to meet demand on occasions and the cost of correction is about €400 millions. It is reasonable to charge above a certain individual usage and I hope that metering takes account of the numbers of residents in each unit of accomodation.