Boycott the Home Tax!
Budget 2012 saw the Dublin government confirm its intention to impose a poll tax on homes across the Twenty-Six Counties. And so with the stroke of a pen the Fine Gael/Labour coalition levied yet another ‘stealth’ tax on in excess of 1.5 million homes across the state.
From January 1st 2012 the flat fee of €100 has been imposed on all eligible homes regardless of the income, employment status, wealth, age or number of dependents of the homeowner. In other words a billionaire living in a mansion will pay the same as an unemployed person living in a flat. Regressive taxation of this sort places an unfair burden on poorer households, resulting in deeper inequality in an already deeply unequal society.
€100 is Just the Beginning
While the Dublin government have attempted to sell the new home tax on the basis of it costing ‘only €2 a week’, even they admit that that figure will rise steeply over the coming years. Current plans will see a ‘site evaluation based property tax’ and domestic water tax replace the €100 home tax in 2013/2014.
It has been estimated that the average household will face a combined property and water tax bill of somewhere in the region of €1000 to €1500 per year by 2014. It is also clear that very few households will be afforded a waiver from these new taxes when they come into full effect.
The €100 home tax is simply the thin end of a €1500 wedge which will be levied on virtually every household in the state. And for that reason it needs to be met with a widespread campaign of opposition and non-payment. The battle against the €100 home tax cannot be separated from the battle against an unjust property tax and domestic water tax. Defeating the €100 home tax will make the introduction of an unjust property tax and domestic water tax extremely difficult if not impossible.
Funding Bank Bailouts Not Public Services
The introduction of the new home taxes is just one element of a package of ‘austerity measures’ needed to fund the insane bailout of the private banking sector. Contrary to the propaganda of the government paying the €100 home tax will not help to fund services such as the fire brigade, public lighting or street cleaning. Instead the money raised will be used to service the astronomical debts that the Dublin government incurred when it nationalised the gambling debts of the private banks.
The €100 home tax is an immoral, unjust and regressive tax, the proceeds of which will be used to fund an immoral, unjust and regressive bank bailout. As such there is no moral or social compulsion on homeowners to pay the tax. Indeed the opposite is true.
For the first time people now have an effective way to resist the imposition of EU/IMF directed austerity measures. Unlike cuts to social welfare or hikes in VAT there is a way to defeat the home tax. You can simply refuse to pay it!
Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes
As one of the founding organisations within the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes éirígí supports the call for a campaign of mass non-payment of the €100 home tax. Click here to find out more about the campaign.
éirígí believes a campaign of mass non-payment to be the only realistic means by which the home tax can be defeated. éirígí activists have been to the fore in leading opposition to the home tax, working with other progressives from Dublin to Donegal and from Wicklow to Cork. Together we can build a genuine mass movement of opposition to the home tax, the property tax and the water tax – a movement that is capable of winning the first significant victory of the battle against the IMF/EU/ECB inspired austerity measures.
What You Can Do?
If you are opposed to the €100 home tax there are a number of simple steps that you can take including:
- DON’T register your home for payment of the ‘Household Charge’
- DON’T pay the ‘Household Charge’
- DON’T be intimidated by the governments threats of fines and punishments
- DO encourage your family, friends and neighbours to boycott the home tax
- DO get involved in the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes
- DO sign the petition opposing the home tax at www.change.org