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Irish Health Minister James Reilly said a new 100-euro ($133) household charge “is not going to go away,” even though just over half of 1.6 million eligible homes paid the levy by a deadline yesterday.
While figures show that just over 800,000 homes have complied, “there are huge numbers in the post that have to be gone through,” Reilly said in an interview with Dublin-based RTE Radio today, adding that the final figure won’t emerge for some days. The government will on April 3 consider what further measures need to be taken to ensure compliance, Reilly said.
“This tax is not going to go away,” he said. “The charge will stay there. It’s on the house and will be paid, one way or the other.”
Some opposition political groups and labor unions have advocated the non-payment of the charge, as a rallying point against austerity. The charge is an interim measure ahead of the introduction of property taxes under Ireland’s bailout accord.
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