Anti-household charge public meeting

A public meeting to organise a campaign against the Government’s proposed household charge will take place in the Menlo Park Hotel this Monday at 8pm.

The meeting has is aimed specifically at residents of Tirellan, Ballinfoyle, Castlelawn, Riverside, Menlo, Mervue and surrounding districts, but is open to any Galwegian unhappy about the household charge to be introduced in January. Similar meetings are planned for Salthill, Renmore, and the city centre.

The proposed household charge will be set initially at €100 per household, however the Government think tank the ESRI predicts this will rise to upwards of €800 by 2013/14.

“Ordinary people, many of them in negative equity or with crippling mortgage payments, attempting to get by on reduced wages, are being asked to pay a charge simply for owning the home they live in,” said Liam McGuinness, one of the meeting’s organisers.

“This is grossly unfair. The vast majority of people did not gamble on international markets, did not have a stake in the banking sector, and had nothing to do with causing this crisis. Yet we are being made to endure cut after cut, and levy after levy, to help fill the black hole created by the bank bail-out.

Mr McGuinness said Galwegians “must send a clear message to the Government” that “we did not make this mess and we will not pay for the mistakes of the rich”.

Mr McGuinness believes the household charge can be defeated. “Community outrage and mass non-payment worked against water charges all over Ireland in the nineties, and in Britain the poll tax was defeated due to the refusal of households to pay,” he said. “It is time we told this Government that enough is enough!”

For more information on the proposed charge and the campaign to oppose it see www.nohouseholdtax.org

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