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Written Answers - Local Authority Charges

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 305.  Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if a person (details supplied) in County Dublin is entitled to a waiver of the household charge. [6258/12]

 312.  Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if persons (details supplied) in County Cork must pay the household charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6342/12]

 322.  Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he will make provision for the payment of the household charge on an instalment basis at An Post local offices and other appropriate outlets in the interests of facilitating the widest possible number of home owners to pay the charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6478/12]

 349.  Deputy Michael Moynihan Information on Michael Moynihan Zoom on Michael Moynihan  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if a house is a protected structure, is the owner liable for the household charge; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6887/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 305, 312, 322 and 349 together.

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and the Local Government (Household Charge) Regulations 2012 provide the legislative basis for the household charge. The Act provides for a number of exemptions and waivers from payment of the household charge. The exemptions from payment of the household charge are—

Residential properties that are part of the trading stock of a business and have not been sold or been the source of any income since construction,

Residential property owned by a Minister of the Government, a housing authority or the Health Service Executive,

Voluntary and co-operative housing,

Residential property subject to commercial rates and wholly used as a dwelling,

Residential property owned by certain charities or discretionary trusts, and

Residential property which an owner has vacated due to long-term mental or physical infirmity (e.g. elderly person that has moved into a nursing home).

The waivers which apply concern—

Owners of residential property entitled to mortgage interest supplement, and

Owners of houses in certain unfinished housing estates.

There is a range of options available for persons to pay the household charge. An online system www.householdcharge.ie is in place in the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) to enable homeowners to pay the household charge by credit/debit card or in four instalments by direct debit. In addition, homeowners can make payment by cheque, postal order, credit/debit card or in four instalments of €25 by direct debit by completing the relevant payment details on the declaration form and posting it to Household Charge, PO Box 12168, [460]Dublin 1. Instalment payments are available by direct debit only and persons opting to pay in this way must register their details by 1 March, 2012.

A bureau is in place in the LGMA to administer the charge on a shared service/agency basis for all local authorities. In addition, all county/city councils have been requested to have arrangements in place for persons to attend their principal offices to pay the household charge up to 31 March, 2012. I am satisfied that there is a comprehensive suite of payment options available to persons with a liability to pay the household charge.


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