We’ve had a very successful public meeting last night, Thursday 8th, in Derby House hotel, Kildare town. The crowd of between 70-80 people came to hear Joan Collins TD, Clare Daly TD and local campaign member Joanne Pender give an update on where the boycott is at the moment and answer any questions that members of the public had.
Joan Collins was well received when she said that after 5 years of austerity and €24 billion in cuts to services which affect the poor and most disadvantaged in the country, we are no better off and have nothing to look forward to but another round of cuts in the upcoming budget. The government will not stand up to the troika in defence of ordinary people and tell them what we all know that austerity does not work.
During this time austerity doesn’t affect all of the people as the top 5% of wealthy people saw their wealth actually increase. This was even after they were the very people who did the gambling so in effect it is a transfer of wealth from the ordinary people to the very wealthy. The wealthy have socialised the debt and privatised the profit. The boycott of the household charge was the first opportunity for people to make a stand, with the boycott being the biggest movement in the country outside the unions, with 1 million families saying no, the government have taken enough and they can take no more.
All of this with no help from the unions. Other countries are having a National Strikes on the 14th of November except Ireland. Our opportunity is on November 24th with a mass demonstration in Dublin, but she said it will be the people on the street that will defeat this austerity not opposition TDs like Clare and herself in the Dáil.
Clare Daly TD stated that the boycott is led by ordinary people from all walks of life and that it is the only major opposition to this tax. She went on to say that the government is not telling the truth about the level of compliance with approx. 800,000 properties’s not registered. She said it was not nice to get a threatening letter from Kildare County Council but that threatening people was all the government had.
As if the government thought it possible to take court action against people they would already have done so on a large scale as they have had since March 31st of this year to do so. No court cases have begun save one or two in the Taoiseach’s home county of mayo where they have been stalled already and put back to the December the 20th sitting. She said most people know that it is not just about the €100 charge, they understand it will be much higher later on.
It could be €400 to €800 for an average home. If people cannot pay €100 they certainly will not be paying €400 or €800. With water to be taxed also, it will be a never ending cost attached to your home which may be even now a liability, as it could be in negative equity. We in Ireland pay more indirect tax than the average European. She gave a stark warning to people that things were not going to get better with no white knight coming to our rescue that we have to save ourselves by getting up and getting organised. Overall the government attempt to impose the Household Tax is a shambles with the likelihood of no court cases this year in all but one Mayo.
No government would be so foolish as to be bringing people to court while trying to bring in another austerity budget. All cases must and will be challenged in the courts with the biggest battles next year with the introduction of the property tax. That proposed tax is also in a shambles with no guidelines from revenue as they are also in the dark over property tax. As of next year more people will not pay the tax out of economic necessity, as they simply will not have the money to do so. This increasing financial difficulty for so many people was noted in the recent credit union survey showing people with €100 or less after paying their bills every month.
Politicians will not solve this crisis, people need to come out and say enough is enough, austerity will not work. People were reassured that the campaign is strong and active across the country and especially in county Kildare. Joanne Pender said a number of people signed up to be an active member and resolved to keep up the boycott. The Kildare campaign is running buses to the protest on the 24th in Dublin and anyone seeking to book places or simply in need of advice can call the campaign on 086 2656897.