Household charge protest to ‘hold firm’

by Gazette Reporter
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Fingal County Council

LOCAL residents announced they would continue to protest against Fingal County Council (FCC) and the Government after protesters opposing the household charge gathered outside a recent council meeting.

A group of local homeowners protested outside the council chamber at County Hall, Swords last week, as FCC held its monthly meeting.

The residents were highlighting their campaign against the payment of the household and water charges, a payment considered “ridiculous” by Cllr Eugene Coppinger (SP).

“The additional council cuts announced recently are being linked to the non-payment of the household charge, and the campaign are saying that’s rubbish,” said Coppinger.

“The council have had cuts since 2008 and 2009. They’ve had a 22% drop in staff numbers, and it’s ridiculous that they’re blaming the non-payment of a €100 charge on the additional cuts.”

Speaking about the protest, Coppinger said: “It was just a small protest organised by the local campaign against the charges. It was just to make a bit of noise outside as there were three motions on the meeting agenda about council cuts. The noise is always noticed, so they will always make an impact.

“I think from the ‘softly softly’ approach taken by the other councillors, there is a realisation that the campaign is winning and that people aren’t going to be able to pay the property tax.”

With the Government planning to introduce a property tax next year on residential homes, and the introduction of water meters as a pilot scheme in Fingal, the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes is due to hold a public meeting at the Carnegie Court Hotel, Swords, on Thursday, September 20, at 8pm.

Both Cllr Coppinger and Clare Daly TD (United Left Alliance) are calling on people to “stand firm and make a stand” by attending the public meeting.

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