Laois/Offaly TS Sinn Fein spokesperson on environment, community & local government, Brian Stanley TD today condemned the issuing of summonses by Mayo County Council for non payment of the Household Charge.
Deputy Stanley said, “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the bully boy tactics of Mayo County Council. This course of action will prove to be a disaster for the government. It will create outrage amongst the public. We could easily see lone parents, those in receipt of welfare and pensioners all being dragged through the courts.
“Sinn Fein has consistently opposed this charge. We have from the onset said this charge is both unjust and unworkable. The whole sorry affair has been mishandled from the start. We had the ridiculous situation earlier this week with the Local Government Management Agency mistakenly sending out tens of thousands of letters demanding payment from households who had already paid. Many of these households may now end up in court.
“The Household Charge has the potential to criminalise hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens.
“Mayo County Council must withdraw the summons immediately. I urge other local authorities not to go down this road of court action. It will only lead to further confrontation.”
In conclusion Deputy Stanley said, “Minister Hogan is ultimately responsible for this disaster. He must reverse the Household Charge and reimburse those who have paid.”